Yakub Memon hanged

NEW DELHI: 1993 Mumbai serial blasts’ convict Yakub Memon was hanged in Nagpur Central Jail on Thursday morning. Memon was pronounced dead at 7.3 AM, jail officials said.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court had earlier rejected a last minute desperate plea by Yakub Memon’s lawyers for staying death sentence, just two hours before he was to be hanged.

This was the second time that the court had cleared Memon’s execution in the last 24 hours.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Dipak Misra – that started hearing a last-minute plea for deferring Memon’s execution at 3.20 am – ruled that Memon had been given enough opportunities.

“It will be travesty of justice if the death warrant is stayed in a case of this nature,” the court ruled in its verdict delivered at 4.55 am.

“There is no question of victory or elation. I have done my duty,” Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi said. 

A disappointed Anand Grover, who represented Memon, said: “I am very disappointed because I feel the Supreme court has made a tragic mistake by truncating the right off a convict to appeal his death sentence.”

The court’s verdict came at the end of a 95-minute open court hearing that saw Memon’s lawyers questioning the government’s hurry to hang the death row convict at 7 AM and insisting that the mercy petition hurriedly rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee late on Wednesday was the first plea filed by Memon.

An earlier mercy plea, rejected by Mukherjee in April 2014, had been filed by Memon’s brother last year.

Grover said Memon must be given 14 days as mandated by SC to meet family members and settle his will. “We are not on merits. It’s over now. I am only seeking 14 days,” Grover told the three-judge bench.

Memon was reportedy hanged to death as per the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court’s order at 7 AM Thursday on his 53rd birthday.
Memon’s brother Suleman and cousin Usman met him on Wednesday. “We have faith in Allah,” was all they said when accosted by reporters outside the hotel. 

According to the jail manual, Memon was woken up early in the morning, allowed to take a bath and offered some light refreshment. He was given religious books to read or recite prayers. 

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