Nagpur, July 30
Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, was hanged inside Nagpur Central Jail at 6.35 a.m. on Thursday, sources said.
Memon was hanged at 6.35 a.m. (according to IANS) and a medical team pronounced him dead a short while later.
His body was sent for autopsy by a medical team from a Nagpur Government Hospital, before being cleared for the last rites.
7 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh meets President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan
9.15 pm: Govt advises Prez to reject mercy petition
10.40 pm: Yakub’s lawyers file fresh petition in SC
10.50 pm: President rejects Yakub’s mercy plea
11.15 pm: Senior lawyers led by Prashant Bhushan move SC again
12 am: An officer of the SC Registrar brings petition to CJI HL Dattu
1 am: Justice Dattu constitutes a three-member Bench
3.20 am: Bench begins hearing the plea at Supreme Court
5.00 am: SC dismisses petition
In an unprecedented sitting, a three-member SC Bench at 5.00 am on Thursday rejected a petition by the lone death row convict in 1993 Mumbai blasts case Yakub Abdul Razak Memon to put off his hanging. The SC verdict thus sealed all options for Yakub to escape the gallows.
Chief Justice of India Justice HL Dattu had formed the Bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Prafulla C Pant and Amitava Roy, around midnight to hear Yakub's plea after the President rejected his mercy petition. The Bench, which had turned down a similar plea by Yakub on Wednesday, began the special hearing around 3.20 am.
The special hearing was necessitated after a group of lawyers, led by Prashant Bhushan, yet again challenged Yakub's hanging scheduled for July 30. The petition was moved at the residence of CJI Dattu.
Speaking to The Tribune outside the Krishna Menon Marg residence of the CJI, Prashant Bhushan said: "We have petitioned the Chief Justice, seeking 14-day gap between rejection of his mercy plea by the President and his hanging." In Shatrughan Chauhan versus Union of India case of 2014, the Supreme Court had ruled that 14-day gap was needed to hang a person after the rejection of his mercy plea by the President, Bhushan said.
The lawyers moved the SC after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected the second mercy petition of Yakub on Wednesday.
Before that, the Supreme Court had ruled that Yakub's death warrants issued by the TADA court and the rejection of his curative petition by the apex court were in order. The Mumbai blasts had left 257 persons dead and more than 700 injured in 1993.
The CJI had set up the Bench on Tuesday, hours after a split verdict delivered by a Bench comprising Justices Anil R Dave and Kurian Joseph on Memon's plea.
While Justice Dave had dismissed his petition, Justice Joseph stayed the death warrant finding fault with the composition of the Bench that rejected Memon's curative petition last week (July 21) though that point was not raised in the writ petition.
Minutes after SC's Wednesday ruling, Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao also rejected Memon's mercy plea, removing the executive hurdle in the way of executing the 53-year-old chartered accountant.
The apex court delivered its verdict after hearing day-long arguments by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi for the Maharashtra Government and senior advocates Raju Ramachandran, TR Andhyarujina and Anand Grover - all for Memon.
In the unanimous judgment, the three SC Judges held that Memon had no right to take advantage of the fact that the TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act) judge had issued the warrant suo motu before he could file the curative petition as he had anyway availed of this remedy now.
The convict had availed of and exhausted all legal and other remedies by filing an appeal and review and curative petitions in the SC as well as sending mercy pleas to the President and the Maharashtra Governor. He was unsuccessful in all this, it noted.
The Bench said it had nothing to do with the fresh mercy pleas sent to the Governor or the President as these were in the domain of the executive, not judiciary.
The SC held there was no violation of any rule in the constitution of the Bench comprising the three senior-most judges - CJI Dattu and Justices TS Thakur and Dave - for considering Memon's curative petition. The curative plea was meant to assail the SC verdict on his appeal, not on review petition, and, as such, there was no need for involving the review petition judges in the adjudication on the curative plea, it ruled while disagreeing with Justice Joseph and accepting Rohatgi's submission.
Since the judges - Justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan - who had delivered the 2013 verdict on the appeals by the convicts had already retired, there was no question of their being part of the curative Bench, it explained.
The Bench also accepted Rohatgi's contention that the 14-day notice period for the execution started from the day the President had rejected the mercy plea on April 11, 2014, not from the day the death warrant was issued. Nevertheless, he was intimated about the death warrant on July 13 (17 days prior to the slated hanging), he pleaded.
In the March 21, 2013, verdict on appeals by the convicts in the case, the SC had upheld the death sentence awarded to "the mastermind" Memon, brother of absconding accused Tiger Memon, but commuted the capital punishment awarded to 10 others, citing several reasons, including the fact that they have been in jail for 20 years.
The apex court had then ruled that Memon, accused number one, had a "very deep involvement in the organisation and conduct of serial bomb blasts". Memon was responsible for making all arrangements for the terror strike by sending other accused to Pakistan for training in handling arms and ammunition and making bombs and for hatching the conspiracy in India, Dubai and Pakistan.
‘Slap on face' of those trying to protect a terrorist: BJP
New Delhi (ANI): Defending 1993 Mumbai terror blast convict Yakub Memon's execution, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said that the Supreme Court's ruling was a slap on the face of those who were ‘trying to protect a terrorist'.
“I think there are three very clear messages which come from his hanging. It is a long awaited justice to the victims of 1993. It is also a strong slap for political leaders who tried to bring religion and terrorism together and were trying to protect a terrorist,” said BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh.
“It also shows how fair the Indian judiciary is as it allowed a terrorist like Yakub to exhaust all options after which the final hanging has come,” he added.
Memon's second mercy plea before President Pranab Mukherjee was rejected late last night.
Third terror convict executed in 4 years
YAKUB MEMON: Yakub Memon, the lone 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict who was hanged to death today, became the third terror convict to have been sent to the gallows in the last four years.
MOHAMAMMED AFZAL GURU: Before Memon, Parliament attack convict Mohamammed Afzal Guru was hanged at 8 am at Tihar Jail, New Delhi, on February 9, 2013. Afzal was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004. On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed terrorists had stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons.
AJMAL KASAB: Prior to Afzal, Ajmal Kasab, the sole Pakistani gunman involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks to have been captured alive, was hanged to death at the Yerwada Central Prison in Pune on November 21, 2012, in an operation that was shrouded in secrecy. Ten Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had descended on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, and unleashed mayhem, targeting many of the city’s landmarks, including Hotel Taj and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. As many as 166 people, including some foreigners, had been killed in the most brazen terror assault. Nine of the perpetrators were killed during the 60-hour siege and Kasab was captured alive. (PTI)