The Supreme Court will hear on Monday a plea by Yakub Memon, the lone Death Row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, who has sought a stay on the execution of his death sentence scheduled for July 30.
The court will also hear a plea by Delhi’s National Law University (NLU), through its Death Penalty Litigation Clinic, which has supported Memon’s contentions against the validity of the death warrant. Senior advocates T R Andhyarujina and Raju Ramachandran mentioned the case before Chief Justice H L Dattu for an urgent listing. Justice Dattu told the counsel the matter has already been assigned to a bench, which will hear it on Monday.
In his petition, Memon complained that his death warrant was issued by a TADA court in Mumbai even though he had not exhausted all legal remedies available to him. He has also approached the Maharashtra Governor with a plea for mercy.
Memon contended that the death warrant by the trial court did not adhere to the established norms and was issued even before his curative petition was heard by the apex court. The warrant was issued in the last week of April whereas Memon’s curative petition was dismissed on July 21.
The petition has also cited a decision by the apex court in a case relating to the death warrants of a couple from Uttar Pradesh. In May, the Supreme Court had quashed the warrants issued by a sessions court in Amroha for execution of the couple, stating that the warrants were “signed in haste” without following proper guidelines.
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The convicts, Shabnam and Salim, were sentenced to death for killing seven members of the former’s family in 2008. Less than a week after the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence on May 15, the sessions court had issued the death warrants on May 21. But, according to the law, the couple should be allowed 30 days to file review petitions. Further, they can file curative petitions and pleas for clemency. Their case was led by the NLU in the apex court.
Memon said that he also had a liberty to file a curative petition as well as a clemency plea before the Governor but the trial court issued the warrant in haste.