India stays execution of Mumbai bomber

2014-06-02 16:05
An Indian policeman stands guard outside the Mumbai High Court. (Rafiq Maqbool, AP)

An Indian policeman stands guard outside the Mumbai High Court. (Rafiq Maqbool, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - India's top court on Monday stayed the execution of a key plotter of the country's deadliest series of attacks.

Yakub Memon, brother of the alleged main plotter and fugitive Tiger Memon, had been sentenced to death for his role in the 1993 blasts which killed 257 people in Mumbai.

The attacks on 12 March that year were believed to have been staged by Mumbai's Muslim-dominated underworld in retaliation for anti-Muslim violence that left more than 1 000 dead in the city a few months earlier.

A panel of two Supreme Court judges referred Memon's petition against his sentence to a higher bench of the same court which will decide whether the review should be held in open court, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

In the meantime the "execution proceedings will remain stayed", one of the judges told the court.

Yakub Memon, an accountant by profession, his brothers Essa and Yusuf and sister-in-law Rubina were all convicted of involvement in the blasts at 13 different locations.

He has been in jail for two decades.

The Bombay Stock Exchange, the offices of the national carrier Air India and the luxury Sea Rock hotel were among the targets.

Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim, the other alleged masterminds of the attacks, have been on the run since 1993.

Indian investigators say the plotters were helped by Pakistan's intelligence service, a charge denied by Islamabad.


The bombings also embroiled Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt who was convicted and spent time in jail for buying weapons from gangsters accused of orchestrating the bombings.

Memon is challenging a recent rejection of his mercy petition by President Pranab Mukherjee, saying others convicted over the blasts have had their death sentences commuted.

The Supreme Court last year rejected Memon's appeal for clemency. A judge at the time declared him, his brother Tiger and Dawood Ibrahim to be "architects of the blasts".

Memon was the only one of 11 people convicted for the 1993 attacks to have his death sentence upheld. The sentences on the others were commuted to life imprisonment.

The court's decision on Monday follows a landmark ruling in January that places new restrictions on executing prisoners in the world's biggest democracy.

The supreme court in January commuted the death sentences of 15 convicts, ruling that "inordinate and inexplicable" delays in carrying out executions were grounds for reducing their original punishments.

With more than 400 people on death row in India, that ruling is expected to have consequences for a huge backlog of cases.

A Sikh militant, convicted of a deadly car bombing two decades ago, was spared execution in March after the court commuted his death sentence.

India has carried out three executions in the last decade following an eight-year unofficial moratorium from 2004 to 2012.

Read more on:    india

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.