Yakub Memon plea: Judges differ on execution, plea referred to larger bench


The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred the death penalty of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon to a larger bench due to difference of opinion between the two judges.

Yakub Memon was seeking a stay on his scheduled execution on July 30, which is now likely to be delayed.

Following the order, Chief Justice HL Dattu will constitute a larger bench and the matter is likely to be heard tomorrow. A three-member bench has reportedly been constituted by the CJI.

Memon moved the apex court contending that the death warrant for his execution was issued before he could exhaust the legal remedies available to him. He also sought that his death sentence be stayed by the apex court.

One of the judges, Justice Anil Dave said Yakub’s execution should not be stopped because “if the king doesn’t punish the guilty with red eyes then the entire sins will come on the king.”

This was not acceptable to Justice Kurien Joseph, who said there was a violation of procedure, adding “such technicality should not stand in the way to protect the life of a person.”

Kurian said that the curative petition had not been dealt with correctly and that the defect “needs to be cured otherwise there will be clear violation of Right to Life of the convict.”

Earlier, a group of 40 eminent personalities had signed a fresh mercy petition asking President Pranab Mukherjee to stay the execution of Memon.

As per the case of the prosecution, the 1993 Mumbai blasts were orchestrated by Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim to seek revenge for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Yakub, who is the brother of Tiger, was allegedly not the main accused in the conspiracy.

A huge controversy had recently been created in the Yakub issue when Bollywood superstar Salman Khan appeared to have supported the terrorist through tweets asking for his brother Tiger to be implicated instead. Salman later retracted from his tweets and apologised for any potential misunderstanding while sticking to his stand.