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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Yakub Memon: Justice or travesty of justice?

Image courtesy: Times Now
Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, a Chartered Accountant by profession, the 1993 Mumbai blast convict, brother of Tiger Memon, the “mastermind” behind the blasts, was hanged to death in the Nagpur central jail at 7 a.m. on July 30, 2015. The court held him guilty for being the driving spirit of and financing the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that killed 257 people.

On March 12 1993,  thirteen explosions took place in Mumbai, killing and injuring hundreds of Indians. The series of trials and hearings started and he has sentenced to death. In May 2014, President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Memon’s mercy plea. In April 2015, Supreme Court dismissed Memon's petition seeking review of death sentence which was upheld by apex court. A three-judge apex court bench headed by Chief Justice on July 21 2015 rejected Memon’s curative petition opposing that the grounds raised by him for relief did not fall within principles laid down by the Supreme Court in 2002 in deciding curative pleas. This was the last legal remedy left to avoid execution of death sentence.

In this whole scenario, the death of Yakub Memon gave rise to a lot of questions about the judicial system of our country and about us as the biggest democracy. The rejection of plea after plea does not give a fair view of the law and order we follow. A man who "supposedly" surrendered himself to the authorities after almost a decade, and revealed Pakistan’s role in the whole conspiracy was kept behind bars for as long as 20 years, more than the time served by people sentenced to lifetime imprisonment,  and eventually hanged to death.

The parody of justice in India will lie in him losing his young life, not because he was directly involved in taking lives of many, but because he happens to be the brother of the main culprit, the Mastermind "Tiger" Memon, who is still hiding out, well away from the grasp of our investigating authorities.

Will someone ever again, in good faith, accept their mistake and trust the Indian judicial system as Yakub Memon did? Did the Indian law and order system actually offer him anything in return - possibly that he retain his thin thread on life in exchange for telling all to the police and the prosecutors???. The questions are many and a number of them are left unanswered as usual…


  1. Very thought provoking and raises more questions about our whole system. There is no doubt that the blasts were a heinous crime but was Memon a co-conspirator or a "Whistle-blower"? That is the most important question!

  2. Ms Jain , Great article but there are certain questions that are still hanging in the air. the authorities said that they caught Yakub Memon while he was trying to go back to karachi from Nepal and was not arrested at Delhi like he portrayed.
    2. if we trust the article that was published by rediff than the author would not have been a only official to tackle this magnitude of operation. why was the defence not been able to produce one such witness.
    there has to be ample reasons why he did not returned to india for 10 years after the incident.

    As far as Good faith is concerned, you can not expect mercy when you have showed none, approx 257 people died and 1400 something injured in those blasts, and you expect to honour good faith....

  3. Yakub Memon's death by hanging reminds me of the saying that we learnt as children "Jaisa karoge, Waisa Bharoge". This judgment has shown that the Indian judicial systems have the strength to give punishment according to the crime. Yakub's death will also give one strong message to these kinds of people: "You are working against the society and Nation and will be punished accordingly".

    1. You are right Sir and I agree with you but 23 years is a very long time. He sould have been punished then itself.