Mumbai, July 23: Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, the sole death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, today moved the Supreme Court seeking stay of execution of his death sentence scheduled for July 30 on the ground that all legal remedies have not been exhausted.
But the confessions of Mohammed Usman Jan Khan, a key conspirator in the case, has sealed Memon's fate in the blasts case. ["I would fight. I want justice", says Yakub Memon's distraught wife]
As per a report published in TOI, Khan told investigators that he repented his actions and turned approver after his arrest on May 10, 1993. Khan had received 10-days' arms and RDX training in Pakistan had planted a car bomb at Sena Bhawan which killed 50 people.
Khan, a resident of Rampur in UP, became a state witness and admitted in the court that all the accused, including Yakub, were involved in planning, conspiracy, training, landing and planting of RDX-laden bombs that eventually killed 257 persons and left 713 injured.
The Supreme Court termed Khan was "a reliable witness" despite inconsistencies, and his statements were "corroborated" by confessions of other accused.
Earlier today, Memon, in his petition said that a lower court's death warrant is illegal as all the legal remedies available to him under the law have not been exhausted and that he has also approached the Maharastra Governor with a plea for mercy.
He had filed the mercy plea before the Governor immediately after his curative petition was dismissed by the apex court on Tuesday.
Yakub's lawyer told the apex court that the warrant issued by the trial court did not follow procedure and guidelines, while citing a case in May when the death warrants of an Uttar Pradesh couple were cancelled.
His petition says a death warrant was issued against him even before he could exhaust his last legal remedy - a curative petition which was dismissed two days ago on July 21.
The Supreme Court in the UP case had then said that such warrants cannot be issued unless the convict has exhausted all legal options.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu had on July 21 rejected Memon's plea saying that the grounds raised by him does not fall within the principles laid down by the apex court in 2002 in deciding the curative petition, the last judicial remedy available to an aggrieved person.
Memon, in his plea, had claimed he was suffering from schizophrenia since 1996 and remained behind the bars for nearly 20 years.
He had sought commutation of death penalty contending that a convict cannot be awarded life term and the extreme penalty simultaneously for the same offence.
The apex court on April 9 this year had dismissed Memon's petition seeking review of his death sentence which was upheld on March 21, 2013.
(With inputs from agencies)