Yakub Memon, one of six children of Abdul Razak and Hanifa Memon, grew up in Byculla, in central Mumbai. An average student, Memon scored 70 per cent in the state secondary board exams and went on to complete his Masters in Commerce from Burhani College of Commerce & Arts, even as his elder brother, Ibrahim Memon alias Tiger, was making his mark in the Mumbai underworld.
He enrolled as a student of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in 1986 and become a certified chartered accountant four years later. By then, his family’s fortunes had started to improve, as Tiger Memon expanded his illegal activities.
Memon, however, claimed that he did not know about his brother’s dealings. He set up a firm with a friend, Chaitanya Mehta, called “Mehta and Memon Associates”.
According to the police, Memon used to handle Tiger Memon’s account books. Accusing Memon of criminal conspiracy, the police claimed he had arranged funds for the blasts.
Days before the blasts, Memon and his family left the city. The vehicles used for the blasts were later traced to his family. Memon’s family moved to Dubai first and then to Pakistan. Memon, however, returned to India 18 months later.
The CBI claimed that he had been arrested from the New Delhi railway station on August 5, 1994. Memon, however, claimed he willingly gave himself up in Nepal on July 28,1994.
Seven other members of his family also surrendered to the authorities.
The TADA court sentenced Memon to death in July 2007. His appeals against the verdict were rejected by the Supreme Court and his mercy petition was declined by the President.
“I am a good citizen. I have tried to help the government in whatever small manner that I could. In fact, when the case comes to its logical end, the truth will unravel. Everybody will come to know about my humble effort and sacrifice,” Memon wrote in his letter to the Chief Justice of India in July 1999.
Giving details about his chartered accountancy firm, he wrote: “We were doing very well. We had about 200 files. We were handling income tax, sales tax, audit and accounts management of these clients…”