A28 INDIA SPECIAL/THE HANGING India Abroad August 7, 2015
THE INDIA ABROAD TEAM
Life came a full circle for Yakub Memon – the lone March 12, 1993 Mumbai blasts convict sentenced to
death — who was hanged on his 53rd
birthday, July 30, a little before 7 am.
His family, who hoped for good
news, as the lawyers made a last
ditch plea to save Yakub Memon,
sent a birthday cake to the Nagpur
Central Jail. The cake was given to
the jail superintendent around midnight.
His brother Suleiman and cousin
Usman, who arrived in Nagpur on
the morning of July 29 hoped for a
last minute reprieve from the
Supreme Court which opened at 3
am July 30 for the first time in its
history for an unprecedented hearing on the petition to stop Yakub
As hopes faded, Suleman Memon,
who was acquitted in the blasts case,
visited the Nagpur Central Jail to
meet his brother for the last time.
In tears, Yakub Memon asked his
brother to look after his wife Rahila,
45, and daughter Zubaida, 21.
Before he was hanged Yakub
Memon bathed and read the Quran.
‘I know I am going to die. Only a miracle can save me,’
Yakub told a guard at the Nagpur jail. ‘My hanging has been
He did not want any medical check-up by jail doctors, as is
the rule for death row convicts. ‘I am fit, no need for a check-
up,’ he said.
A couple of hours earlier, the Supreme Court of India had
dismissed Yakub Memon’s plea for a stay on the death warrant.
‘Stay of death warrant would be a travesty of justice. The
plea is dismissed,’ said Justice Dipak
Misra, who headed the three-judge
bench, in Court Room 4 which was
opened for a 90-minute hearing that
started at 3.20 am and ended a little
The Supreme Court hearing followed swift developments all of
Wednesday, July 29, when the
Supreme Court upheld the death warrant and President Pranab Mukherjee
and Maharashtra Governor Ch
Vidyasagar Rao rejecting Yakub
Memon’s mercy petitions.
After the President’s decision late
on Wednesday night, Yakub Memon’s
lawyers met Chief Justice of India H L
Dattu at his home and petitioned him
for an urgent hearing to stay the
hanging on the ground that 14 days
time should be given to a death row
convict to enable him to challenge the
rejection and for other purposes.
Chief Justice Dattu constituted the same three-judge
bench – Justice Misra, Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant and
Justice Amitava Roy that had earlier decided on the death
warrant issue — to hear the late night plea.
Memon’s lawyers Anand Grover and Yug Chowdhury
alleged the government was ‘hell bent’ on executing the convict without giving him the right to challenge the rejection of
his mercy petition by the President as the Right to Life of a
condemned prisoner lasted until his last breath.
A death row convict, Grover said, is entitled to a 14 day
reprieve after rejection of her/his mercy plea. Opposing the
plea, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi contended that Yakub
Memon’s fresh plea amounted to abusing the system.
A death warrant upheld just 10 hours ago by three judges
cannot be quashed, Rohatgi said, adding that the attempt
appeared to be to prolong Yakub Memon’s stay in prison and
get the sentence commuted.
Justice Misra said ample opportunity was granted to Yakub
Memon after the rejection of his first mercy petition by the
‘As a consequence, if we have to stay the
death warrant it would be a travesty of jus-
tice,’ the bench said, adding that ‘we do not
find any merit in the writ petition.’
It said it was not going into the second
mercy plea in which grounds of Yakub
Memon suffering from schizophrenia were
raised along with the fact that new evidence
in the light of an article by former senior
Research and Analysis Wing officer B Raman
– published on Rediff.com, which owns India
Abroad (India Abroad, July 31) — had been
taken for grant of leniency which was disput-
ed by the attorney general.
An hour or so after the Supreme Court rul-
ing, the same prison constable from the
Yerwada Jail, who carried out the hanging of
Death at Dawn
An unprecedented Supreme Court hearing could not prevent the execution of
Yakub Memon, the lone convict sentenced to death in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
4Page A29 a FSar Day Tar/reDIFF. CoM
hundreds gathered outside yakub Memon’s home when his body arrived, top and bottom. aFSar Day Tar/re DIFF. CoM