Staying the execution of Arif’s death sentence April 28, the Bench referred the matter to the constitution Bench saying that it involved the question of interpretation of constitutional provisions. The Supreme Court March 21 upheld the death sentence awarded to Memon by the special (now lapsed) TADA (Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act) court and confirmed by the Bombay High Court. Memon has been described as a mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts - a series of 13 explosions March 12, 1993, claiming 257 lives and leaving 713 injured. On March 21, the apex court Bench, while confirming his death sentence, said his “deeds can’t be viewed distinct from the act of Tiger Memon, hence, both owe an equivalent responsibility for the blasts”.
The court described Memon and others as “driving spirit” and “architects of the blasts, without whom the plan would have never seen the daylight”. “Yakub Memon also played an active role in generation and management of funds for achieving the object behind the conspiracy and in all subsequent events,” it said. The TADA trial court presided over by Justice P.D. Kode had commenced the trial Nov 4, 1993, and pronounced its 4,230-page verdict July 31, 2007. The trial court awarded death sentence to 12 people, including Memon. One of them has passed away. The trial court had also sentenced 20 people to life imprisonment and 46 others, including Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, were given varying terms of imprisonment. (IANS)