The Supreme Court Wednesday issued notices to the CBI and the Maharashtra government on a review petition by 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Abdul Razak Memon. The court also extended the stay on the execution of Memon’s death sentence till January 28, the next date of hearing.
A three-judge bench led by Justice Anil R Dave issued notices on a point of law relating to establishing the charge of conspiracy against Memon in the serial blasts case.
Appearing for Memon, senior advocate Jaspal Singh pointed out the alleged error by the court in relying upon certain documents which were otherwise not admissible as evidence.
Singh also contended that the judgment was not ready when Memon was heard on the quantum of punishment and hence he had no occasion to know grounds of his conviction.
Singh also disputed Memon’s conviction on the sole basis of his confessional statement recorded under TADA, which he had retracted on the first available opportunity.
The court had in June stayed the execution of Memon, who is the brother of Ibrahim Memon, better known as Tiger Memon, the alleged mastermind and the prime accused who is absconding in the case.
President Pranab Mukherjee had in April rejected Memon’s mercy petition and the decision was left to the Maharashtra government for fixing the execution date. Memon is lodged in Nagpur jail.
In March last year, the SC had confirmed the death sentence awarded to Memon, holding him guilty of being the “driving spirit” behind the blasts that killed 257 people, while commuting the death sentence awarded to 10 others to life imprisonment till their death.
The court had said Memon’s “commanding position and the crime of utmost gravity” warranted capital punishment.
Memon’s review petition was heard in the open court in accordance with the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling, which held that review petitions against the verdict upholding the death sentence must be heard by a three-judge bench in open court.
A Constitution bench had said all the death row convicts, whose review petitions have already been rejected but their sentence has not been executed, may file fresh petitions for an open court hearing of their review pleas within a month and they will be heard for at least half-an-hour.
However, in the cases, where the curative petition has already been decided, the death row convict will not have this opportunity to avail.