In a blow to 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed his plea seeking a review of his death penalty.
A bench led by Justice Anil Dave found no merits in the review petition filed by Memon, the lone death row convict in the serial blasts case.
The decision comes after extensive open court hearings conducted over a month in which Memon's counsel orally argued in detail against the death penalty imposed on him under TADA.
The court had also sought responses from Maharashtra Special Task Force and CBI on his plea seeking review of death penalty awarded to him.
The counsel appearing for Memon had said that neither the trial court nor the apex court gave special reasons for sending him to gallows.
“My entire conviction is based on retracted confessions of several co-accused,” his lawyer said.
The lawyer also alleged that Memon was convicted and then sentenced to death by the special TADA court even before the entire judgement was delivered, hence, his conviction was not valid.
The Supreme Court had earlier confirmed the death sentence awarded to Mr. Memon, the main accused (A-1), and brother of Tiger Memon (the mastermind and absconding key conspirator), holding him guilty of being the “driving spirit” in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that killed 257 people.
The court had maintained that Pakistan played a major part in the blasts. “A careful reading of the confessional statements of the convicted accused exposes that a large number of the accused, including the absconders, received training in [the] making of bombs by using RDX and other explosives” in Pakistan, its judgement had said.
"The confessional statements of various co-accused make a mention that Tiger Memon, the mastermind of the whole conspiracy, instructed the other appellants to stay in touch with A-1 for further instruction. … A-1 assumed the role of Tiger Memon in India during his absence. As an outcome, Tiger Memon gave the commands to A-1, who in turn passed them on to the other accused… Essentially, A-1’s deeds can’t be viewed distinct from the act of Tiger Memon, hence both owe an equivalent responsibility for the blasts. They were the architects of the blasts, without whom the plan would have never seen the daylight,” the judgement had said.