Curtains came down on the legal battle of 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon as the Supreme Court dismissed his petition on Wednesday, seeking a stay of his execution slated for July 30 and quashing of death warrant.
The apex court had earlier dismissed the curative petition of Yakub. A three-judge bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Prafulla C. Pant and Amitava Roy said proper procedure was followed in disposing of Yakub's curative petition.
"Issuance of death warrant cannot be faulted with," said the apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, while rejecting Memon's plea. Pronouncing the order, Justice Misra said, 'we don't find any legal fallacy' with the issuance of death warrant by the TADA court on April 30.
The court order came after a day-long hearing on the petition by Memon and also a reference by two judge-bench on the appropriateness of another bench that had heard Memon's curative petition and rejected it on July 21, 2015.
This reference was made following a split verdict between Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Kurien Joseph on Tuesday.
Dealing with the reference, the court said that the curative petition that "was decided by the three seniormost judges cannot be regarded as void or inappropriate" in context of the principle that was laid down by this court in an earlier judgement famously known as Hurra case.
"Thus, we disagree with the views expressed by Justice Joseph at this juncture," the court said, holding that "dismissal of curative petition by the three seniormost judges has to be regarded to be correct and not vitiated by any procedural irregularity".
Without saying anything on the second mercy petition moved by Memon before the Maharashtra governor after the rejection of his curative petition by the apex court on July 21, the court brought an end to the legal battle being waged by Memon challenging his death sentence.
Memon and 11 others were slapped with the death penalty by the special TADA court in July 2007 for the 1993 bomb blasts in which 257 people were killed and 712 were injured.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao on Wednesday rejected death row convict Yakub Memon's plea for clemency.
The development came shortly after a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court rejected Memon's appeal filed before it.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that now there were no legal hurdles to implement the death warrant issued against Memon.
Here is the chronology of the events in over 22-year-old case leading to today's verdict:
* Mar 12, 1993: A series of 13 explosions rock Mumbai resulting in 257 fatalities and injuries to 713 others.
* Apr 19: Actor Sanjay Dutt (accused number 117) arrested.
* Nov 4: Over 10,000 page-long primary charge sheet filed against 189 accused, including Dutt.
* Nov 19: Case handed over to CBI.
* Apr 1, 1994: TADA court shifted from city's sessions and civil court to a separate building inside the premises of the Arthur Road Central Jail.
* Apr 10, 1995: 26 accused discharged by the TADA court. Charges framed against the remaining accused. Supreme Court discharges two more accused - travel agent Abu Asim Azmi (now Samajwadi Party MP) and Amjed Meher Baux.
* Apr 19: Trial commences.
* Apr-June: Charges framed against the accused.
* June 30: Two accused, Mohammed Jameel and Usman Jhankanan, turn approvers in the case.
* Oct 14: Dutt granted bail by Supreme Court.
* Mar 23, 1996: Judge J N Patel transfered and elevated as a high court judge.
* Mar 29: P D Kode designated as a special TADA judge for the case.
* Oct 2000: Examination of 684 prosecution witnesses ends.
* Mar 9-July 18, 2001: Accused record their statements.
* Aug 9: Prosecution begins arguments.
* Oct 18: Prosecution completes arguments.
* Nov 9: Defence starts arguments.
* Aug 22, 2002: Defence closes arguments.
* Feb 20, 2003: Dawood gang member Ejaz Pathan produced in court.
* Mar 20, 2003: Mustafa Dossa's remand proceedings and trial separated.
* Sept 2003: Trial ends. Court reserves judgement.
* June 13, 2006: Gangster Abu Salem's trial separated.
* Aug 10: Judge P D Kode says judgement will be pronounced on September 12.
* Sept 12: Court starts delivering the judgement, pronounces four members of the Memon family guilty, acquits three. 12 convicts awarded death penalty while 20 were given life sentence.
* Nov 1, 2011: SC begins hearing on appeals filed by the 100 convicts as well as the state.
* Aug 29, 2012: SC reserves its order on the appeals.
* Mar 21, 2013: SC upholds death sentence of Yakub Memon and commutes death sentence of 10 convicts to life term. Life
imprisonment of 16 out of 18 convicts also upheld.
* Jul 30: First review petition of Yakub in SC dismissed.
* Aug 14: Scheduled date for execution of first death warrant which was stated.
* Apr 11, 2014: President Pranab Mukherjee rejects Yakub's mercy plea.
* May 26: Yakub informed about his mercy plea.
* Jun 2: SC stays Memon's execution on plea seeking review petitions in death cases to be heard in open court instead of chambers.
* Apr 9, 2015: SC dismisses Memon's second petition seeking review of death sentence which was upheld by apex court.
* Jul 21: SC rejects Memon's curative petition, the last legal remedy to avoid execution of death sentence.
* Jul 23: Memon moves SC seeking stay of execution of his death sentence scheduled for July 30.
* Jul 27: The case faces legal issues in SC regarding curative plea of Memon.
* Jul 28: Two judges' SC bench split over Yakub's plea, refers it to CJI for constituting larger bench.
* Jul 29: SC dismisses Yakub's plea against his execution and says issue of death warrant is in order.