New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of death row convict Yakub Abdul Razak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
The apex court also referred to the Constitution bench a plea that review petitions in death penalty cases should not be heard and decided in chamber proceedings.
The mercy plea of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, a death-row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, had earlier been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on 21 May, 2014.
The decision had been taken by the President following recommendations of the Maharashtra government and the Home Ministry that the mercy petition of Memon be rejected. The President's decision had been conveyed to the Maharashtra government.
Yakub, a chartered accountant and brother of fugitive terror mastermind Tiger Memon, had been sentenced to death by a TADA 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 had applied for a presidential pardon following which, a report from the state government had been sought by the Home Ministry.
Yakub was arrested from Kathmandu airport in 1994. He was later described by the TADA court as 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. CBI, which probed the blasts, had alleged that the conspiracy was hatched by Dawood Ibrahim and other absconding persons, including Yakub's brother Tiger Memon, who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.