The home ministry has recommended to the President that the mercy petition of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, a convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, be rejected. The recommendation, recently sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, was based on the Maharashtra government's decision that the mercy petition be rejected, a senior official said.
Yakub, a chartered accountant and brother of fugitive terror mastermind Tiger Memon, was sentenced to death by a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities court in 2007 after being found guilty of charges of criminal conspiracy and for arranging finances and managing its disbursement through the co-accused in the Mumbai serial blasts.
Upholding the Mumbai TADA court's verdict, the Supreme Court, in March, 2013, had said, "It is not a hyperbole to state that he was one of the driving spirits behind the plan." In October, 2013, Yakub applied for a presidential pardon following which, a report from the state government was sought by the home ministry.
Yakub was arrested from Kathmandu airport in 1994. He was later described by the TADA court as being the mastermind who played a key role in the conspiracy, thus "warranting death penalty". The multiple blasts had claimed 257 lives and left 713 injured. The Centraol Bureau of Investigation, which probed the blasts cases, alleged that the conspiracy was hatched by Dawood Ibrahim and other absconding persons, including Tiger, who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Home Ministry has decided to convey to Supreme Court that Tamil Nadu government's announcement about freeing all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was based on "extraneous considerations".
The Central government, which had moved the apex court on February 21 challenging the Tamil Nadu government decision, will file its reply to the court before March 27. Immediately after Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of the three convicts in the case on February 18, Tamil Nadu government had informed the state assembly that a decision had been taken to remit their life sentence, along with that of four other convicts.
The home ministry had also sent two letters to the Tamil Nadu government detailing all legal and constitutional provisions which say that state governments have no power of remitting life sentences of prisoners as they are convicted under central laws.