NEW DELHI: Yakub Memon, convicted as “a driving spirit” for the 1993 blasts in Mumbai, was hanged a little before 7 am at Nagpur Central Prison. At 5 am, the Supreme Court had rejected his last-minute petition to stop his hanging after an unprecedented middle-of-the-night hearing.
Yakub Memon was hanged shortly before 7 am for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. At 5 am, the Supreme Court dismissed his last-minute attempt to escape the gallows by rejecting his plea for a stay on the death warrant. According to reports, jail authorities had given fresh set of clothes to Memon ahead of his hanging.
The body of Memon, who would have turned 53 today, would be handed over to his relatives who have been camping here in a hotel after completion of formalities.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to make a statement on the issue in the state Assembly today.
This is for the first time in India’s judicial history that the Supreme Court opened its door for justice in the early hours into the day. It also sends out a positive message to the world that Indian Judicary is availabe 24X7 and anyone can knock the doors for justice. The hearing took place in public view and journalists were also allowed inside the courtroom.
The Court’s 3-Judge bench consisted of Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice J A Roy and Justice J P Pant.
“Stay of death warrant would be a travesty of justice. The plea is dismissed,” said Justice Dipak Misra, heading a three-judge bench, in an order in Court Room 4 which was opened for an unprecedented 90-minute hearing that started at 3.20 AM and ended a little before dawn.
Yakub Memon’s lawyer Anand Grover argued that a death row convict is entitled to 14 days reprieve after rejection of mercy plea for various purposes. His lawyer argued nearest legal aid centre has to be informed about rejection but cannot be done because it was in the night.
Memon’s lawyer also questioned how the President rejected the fresh mercy plea in a short time and also that the convict has the right to receive copy of rejection of mercy plea.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi in Supreme Court argued that one can’t make mercy plea just 10 hours before execution and if mercy petitions are filed over and over again, death warrants will never be executed. Yakub’s lawyer, Grover responded saying that they are hell bent on executing Memon this morning.
Here are the 10 latest developments:
President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Yakub Memon’s mercy petition sent to him on Wednesday.
Activists and Memon’s lawyers told the Supreme Court in a late-night appeal that after a mercy plea is rejected, the death row prisoner can’t be hanged for 14 days, according to rules.
However, the three Supreme Court judges who heard the case accepted the government’s argument that Memon had “ample opportunity” to challenge his sentencing.
The court accepted the government’s argument that a mercy plea filed on Memon’s behalf by his brother, which was rejected by the President last year, could not be overlooked.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday had refused to stop Memon’s hanging, rejecting his claim that the top court had not followed correct processes in upholding his death sentence earlier this week.
The same three judges who ruled against him during the day heard the emergency petition in the middle of the night.
Memon was convicted for helping finance the serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993 in which 257 people were killed.
His brother, Tiger, and Dawood Ibrahim, who masterminded the blasts, remain missing.
Those who support Memon’s claim say that he provided crucial information to investigators in fixing accountability for the blasts. Two of his brothers have been given the life sentence.
Memon left the country just before the blasts. He returned a year later amid conflicting reports on whether he had been arrested or had surrendered. Investigators deny he was offered a secret plea bargain.