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Posted at: Jul 27, 2015, 8:29 PM; last updated: Jul 27, 2015, 8:29 PM (IST)

Yakub Memon’s death penalty: What are the rules for curative plea, SC asks

Yakub Memon’s death penalty: What are the rules for curative plea, SC asks
File Photo: Yakub Memon

New Delhi, July 27

Even as the day for his scheduled hanging draws close, Supreme Court has asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to explain the rules relating to curative petitions, the last judicial remedy available to a person, on Monday.

A division bench of Justices AR Dave and Kurian Joseph, which is hearing a plea on staying Memon’s execution, wants to court to know the rules before it decides.

The central government has argued that Memon has exhausted all legal remedies with the dismissal of his curative petition.

Memon has claimed that not only was he unaware that his legal options have been exhausted, but he was also told of the date of his scheduled execution until July 13 even though the state government had fixed a date of execution before then.

Additionally, his death warrant was issued while he was still awaiting verdict on his curative petition, he has argued.

"The TADA judge gives him 90 days notice for execution but the state government gives notice of only 17 days. The state government's order is premature," senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, representing Memon, said

"The challenge is to the issue of death warrant issued on April 30 which is completely arbitrary to the law laid down by this court."

Memon got support from Death Penalty Litigation Clinic, associated with the National Law University, Delhi, with its senior advocate TR Anndhyarujina also making similar contentions for a stay of his execution.

Justice Joseph also shared similar views: he said the curative plea, after going to the four senior-most judges of the apex court, should have also gone to the bench which last heard the matter confirming his death sentence in a review plea on April 9, 2015.

On July 31, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu had rejected Memon's plea on the ground that his petition did not fall within the principles laid down by the apex court in 2002 in deciding curative petitions, the last judicial remedy available to an aggrieved person.

In his plea against the death sentence given to him for his role in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts — 13 coordinated bomb blasts in Mumbai that killed 350 persons and injuring 1,200 on March 12, 1993 — Memon contended that he had been in prison since 1994, when he was arrested. He also claimed he has been suffering from schizophrenia.

He sought commutation of his sentence to life term.

Memon’s case had sparked a raging debate in the country, with several people opening pointing out the failure of following the due process of law while issuing a death warrant.

A chartered accountant, Yakub Memon, the younger brother of another suspect in the case — gangster Tiger Memon, who along with Dawood Ibrahim, plotted the attack — was arrested in 1994 and has been in custody since.

Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibraham are both absconding

Memon was sentenced to death by a TADA court on July 27, 2007.


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