Yakub Memon seeks stay of execution of his death sentence

Thursday, Jul 23, 2015,20:53 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, the sole death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, today moved the Supreme Court seeking stay of execution of his death sentence scheduled for July 30 on the ground that all legal remedies have not been exhausted.
Memon, in his petition said that a lower court’s death warrant is illegal as all the legal remedies available to him under the law have not been exhausted and that he has also approached the Maharastra Governor with a plea for mercy.
He had filed the mercy plea before the Governor immediately after his curative petition was dismissed by the apex court on Tuesday.
Yakub’s lawyer told the apex court that the warrant issued by the trial court did not follow procedure and guidelines, while citing a case in May when the death warrants of an Uttar Pradesh couple were cancelled.
His petition says a death warrant was issued against him even before he could exhaust his last legal remedy – a curative petition which was dismissed two days ago on July 21.
The Supreme Court in the UP case had then said that such warrants cannot be issued unless the convict has exhausted all legal options. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu had on July 21 rejected Memon’s plea saying that the grounds raised by him does not fall within the principles laid down by the apex court in 2002 in deciding the curative petition, the last judicial remedy available to an aggrieved person.
Memon, in his plea, had claimed he was suffering from schizophrenia since 1996 and remained behind the bars for nearly 20 years. He had sought commutation of death penalty contending that a convict cannot be awarded life term and the extreme penalty simultaneously for the same offence.
The apex court on April 9 this year had dismissed Memon’s petition seeking review of his death sentence which was upheld on March 21, 2013. Memon’s review petition was heard by a three-judge bench in an open court in pursuance of a Constitution bench verdict that the practice of deciding review pleas in chambers be done away with, in cases where death penalty has been awarded.
The apex court, on June 2, 2014, had stayed the execution of Memon and referred his plea to a Constitution bench as to whether review petitions in death penalty cases be heard in an open court or in chambers.
Memon had sought review of the March 21, 2013 verdict of the apex court upholding his death penalty in the case relating to 13 coordinated bomb blasts in Mumbai, killing 257 persons and injuring over 700 on March 12, 1993.