1993 Mumbai blasts: Yakub Memon files fresh mercy plea with President

New Delhi :1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon on Wednesday filed a fresh mercy plea with the President just a day before his hanging.

President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected his mercy plea last year but Yakub’s lawyer says that petition was filed by his family on his behalf.

The 53-year-old chartered accountant is to be hanged at a jail in Nagpur on Thursday for his role in the deadly terror attack in which 257 people were killed in blasts at various landmarks across Mumbai.

Yakub’s last-ditch plea for mercy comes at a time the Supreme Court is still hearing his petition to stop his execution on grounds that proper procedure was not followed.

A three-judge newly constituted bench of the Supreme Court today heard afresh the plea of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, the sole death row convict in 1993 Mumbai blasts case after two judges gave a split order and is expected to pronounce its decision later in the day.

The bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, before rising for lunch recess, said it will pronounce the order today itself, if the counsel for the parties “cooperate”. The arguments will continue after the lunch break.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachndran, appearing for Memon, initiated arguments by referring to the separate, divergent orders passed by Justice A R Dave and Justice Kurian Joseph yesterday and said that the procedures established by the law have not been followed while deciding the curative petition of the convict.

Ramachandran said, “The judges, who were part of judicial process earlier, must be party to curative petition. It cannot be decided by judges who are strangers to the matters.”

He further said that besides the three senior most judges, the curative petition should have been circulated to the judges, if available, who had decided the criminal appeal and the review petition.

Senior advocates T R Andhyarujina and Anand Grover both supported the contention of Ramachandran and said that this death warrant is illegal and can not be executed tomorrow.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, who is presently continuing his argument, said that the court should not forget the fact that it was the first terror attack at the heart of the country that had led to the death of 257 persons and several hundred injured.