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Yakub Memon, who is to be hanged tomorrow, files fresh mercy plea with President

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 29 July 2015, 12:07 IST

The 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon has filed a fresh plea for mercy with the President of India just a day before his hanging.

President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected his mercy plea last year, but Memon's lawyer says that petition had been filed by his family on his behalf.

The 53-year-old chartered accountant is to be hanged at a jail in Nagpur on 30 July for his role in the deadly terror attack in which 257 people were killed in blasts at various landmarks across Mumbai.

Memon's last-ditch plea for mercy comes when the Supreme Court is still hearing his petition to stop his execution on the grounds that proper procedure was not followed.

A two-judge bench yesterday differed on his petition.

Justice Anil Dave said Memon's execution must not be stopped, quoting a Sanskrit shloka: "If the king doesn't punish the guilty with red eyes then the entire sin will come on the king."

Justice Kurien Joseph, however, said there had been a clear violation of procedure and "such technicality should not stand in the way to protect the life of a person."

Yakub Memon has pleaded that the death warrant for his execution is illegal because it was issued before he had exhausted every legal option; his curative petition challenging the Supreme Court's ruling had not been heard then. It was rejected last week. His lawyers also said judges who ordered the death sentence should have been part of the bench that decided on the curative petition.

Of the 11 sentenced to death for the terror attack, Memon was the only convict not granted mercy.

A group of eminent citizens, including politicians, jurists and retired judges, had also asked President Pranab Mukherjee to grant Memon mercy, arguing that, "in comparison the other 10 planted the bombs and played a much more critical and direct role."

Yakub's brother Tiger Memon is the main accused along with underworld don Dagwood Ibrahim. Both have been missing since 1993.

First published: 29 July 2015, 12:07 IST