INTRODUCTION OF CASE
The case of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon vs the State of Maharashtra is one of the most debatable cases which raised numerous questions regarding the death penalty granted by the court. This case also laid questionnaires on the mercy petitions. The number of mercy petitions, validity and legality.
The operation started all with the demolition of the Babri Masjid, one of the most historic and rebellious decision. It was demolished on 06.12.1992. The anguish of the Muslim community was at the peak with the conflicting decisions being laid. This broke out violence between communal groups. People were out on street protesting against the same. Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim, a resident of Dubai, formulated a conspiracy to carry out a terrorist act in Bombay. In pursuance of the said object, Dawood Ibrahim agreed to send arms and ammunition from abroad. Tiger Memon, in association with his men, particularly, the accused persons, received those arms and ammunitions through sea-coasts of Bombay. In continuation of the said conspiracy, Tiger Memon sent some of the accused persons to Dubai and from there to Pakistan for training and handling in arms and ammunitions. A huge number of masses were trained to carry out the criminal conspiracy. The main conspiracy led to a series bomb blast in Mumbai, the commercial hub of the nation. The bombing involved 12 places such as namely, Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Sena Bhavan, Century Bazaar, Mahim Causeway, Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Theatre, Juhu Centaur Hotel, AirPort Bay-54 and AirPort Centaur Hotel. The aforesaid incident took place on 12.03.1993. 257 lives were reported to be lost and as many as 713 people were injured in the series bomb blast. A report suggests that property worth 27 crores destroyed. This case was the first-ever incident in which the use of RDX (research department explosive) was involved. The first-ever meeting of the conspiracy began on 06.01.1993, soon after the demolition of the Babri Masjid. This meeting was held at Hotel Persian Darbar, Panvel, Maharashtra.
BACKGROUND OF CASE -
Yakub Memon the main accused and the respondent in the case was charged with funding the operation. The major consultant work was monetary remuneration of firearms, ammunition and explosives that were imported. The ammunition involved was brought through the Mumbai coast. The boats were brought in Indian seas and deliver goods at the Raigad district in Maharashtra. Days prior to attack repeated meetings were held in the Country. Memon was charged by the state for the following:
During the period from December 1992 to April 1993 at various places in Bombay, District Raigad and District Thane in India and outside India in Dubai (U.A.E.) Pakistan entered into a criminal conspiracy and/or were members of the said criminal conspiracy whose object was to commit terrorist acts in India. To organize training camps in Pakistan and in India to import and undergo weapons training in handling of arms, ammunitions and explosives to commit terrorist acts. To harbour and conceal terrorists/co-conspirators, and also to aid, abet and knowingly facilitate the terrorist acts and/or any act preparatory to the commission of terrorist acts and to render any assistance financial or otherwise for accomplishing the object of the conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, to do and commit any other illegal acts as were necessary for achieving the aforesaid objectives of the criminal conspiracy and that on 12.03.1993 were successful in causing bomb explosions at Stock Exchange Building, Air India Building, Hotel Sea Rock at Bandra, Hotel Centaur at Juhu, Hotel Centaur at Santacruz, Zaveri Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Century Bazaar at Worli, Petrol Pump adjoining Shiv Sena Bhavan, Plaza Theatre and in lobbing hand grenades at Macchimar Hindu Colony, Mahim and at Bay-52, Sahar International Airport which left more than 257 persons dead, 713 injured and property worth about Rs.27 crores destroyed, and attempted to cause bomb explosions at Naigaum Cross Road and Dhanji Street, all in the city of Bombay and its suburbs i.e. within Greater Bombay.
The case charged Memon under the Section 3(3) of TADA (P) Act, 1987 and Section 120-B of IPC read with Section 3(2)(i)(ii), 3(3)(4), 5 and 6 of TADA (P) Act, 1987 and read with Sections 302, 307, 326, 324, 427, 435, 436, 201 and 212 of Indian Penal Code and offences under Sections 3 and 7 read with Sections 25 (1-A), (1-B)(a) of the Arms Act, 1959, Sections 9B (1)(a)(b)(c) of the Explosives Act, 1884, Sections 3, 4(a)(b), 5 and 6 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and Section 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 and within my cognizance. Memon who passed out from a college in Maharashtra pursued his CS in the same state, later becoming a charter accountant in a firm. Memon was charged for funding the said operation in the form of monetary remunerations.
ISSUES OF THE CASE -
The state accused Memon of:
Arranging finance and managing the disbursement by generating the same through Mulchand Shah Choksi and from the firm M/s Tejarat International owned by Ayub Memon for achieving the objective of conspiracy to commit the terrorist act.
arranging air tickets through Altaf Ali Mushtaq Ali Sayyed. East-West Travels and others to enable the co-conspirators and accused in the case to undergo weapons training in Pakistan and for having made arrangement for their lodging and boarding
purchasing motor vehicles for the purpose of preparing them for being used as bombs and for planting them at important locations in furtherance of the objective of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act
requesting the discharged Amjad Ali Meharbux to store suitcases containing arms and ammunition, hand grenades which were part of consignment smuggled into India by the absconding accused Tiger Memon and other co-conspirators.
Some other charges include section 5 under the TADA Act, unauthorised being in possession of the hand grandees, detonators which were included in the consignment by Tiger Memon.
Also for the commission of the offence under Section 6 of TADA Act, on the count of unauthorised smuggling arms consignment for Tiger Memon and his associates for committing the terrorist act and thereby having contravened the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959, the Explosives Act, 1884, the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and the Explosives Rules, 2008 by keeping the same in his possession and by transporting and distributing the same to different persons. A similar charge of for commission of the offences under Sections 3 & 4 read with Section 6 of the Explosive Substances Act on the count of, from 03.02.1993 onwards, providing premises, having procured, concealed, aided and abetted Tiger Memon and his associates for smuggling arms, ammunition and explosives into the country for the commission of the terrorist act and also by having in his possession and control explosive substances like hand grenades and detonators with an intent, and by means thereof, to endanger the lives and for causing serious damage to property in India and to enable his co-conspirators to do such acts.
The judgement soared sky when the disagreement arose in the two-judge bench between justice Kurian Joseph and justice Anil Dave. This argument led to a higher judge bench constituted by the then CJI Justice H.L. Dattu.
The majority judgement decided by the higher judge bench consisting of then CJI Justice HL Dattu, Justice Dipak Misra, justice AR Dave, justice Kurian Joseph, justice Prafulla C Pant and Justice Amitav Roy. The majority decision withstood with the death sentence. It was referred to as the rarest of the rare cases where the death penalty prevails as the ultimate decision with the accused.
The dissenting judgement was given by justice Kurian Joseph. The argument regarding the rejection of curative petition and mercy petition with unequal amount of time given for the death sentence. Justice Kurian also stayed the order of the death penalty. Justice Joseph seemed to question the court proceedings related to the petition of the convict. As the petition as declared void, Justice Kurian showed disagreement as it was not referred to the three-judge bench and rejected without reference.
The judgement stood with the majority finding Yakub Memon guilty in the 1993 series bomb blast in Mumbai killing 257 and injuring 713 individuals. The supreme court stayed on its order of death penalty to Memon. On30 July 2015, Memon was hanged till death in the Nagpur Central Jail, Mumbai.