This article takes you through the events and legal developments associated with the 1993 Bombay blasts and the prosecution of the accused Yakub Memon. Memon has been sentenced to death by the TADA Court and his subsequent appeals and petitions for mercy and review have been dismissed.

Date Event
6 December 1992 Demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya.
12 March 1993 Between 13:33 to 15:40 hours, a series of 12 bomb explosions take place one after the other at 12 places in Bombay. A total of 257 human lives lost and 713 persons seriously injured, and properties worth about Rs. 27 crores destroyed.This was the first ever terrorist attack in the world where RDX (Research Department Explosive) was used on a large scale basis after the World War II.
19 November 1993 Case transferred to CBI.

Judge J N Patel appointed Designated Judge of the Special Court constituted to try Bombay Bomb Blast case
1 April 1994 TADA court shifted from city’s sessions and civil court to a separate building inside the premises of the Arthur Road Central Jail.
April 1994 Memon arrested from New Delhi Railway Station though he claims that he was arrested in Kathmandu.
19 April 1995

Trial in the blast cases commences.

23 March 1996
Judge J N Patel elevated as a Bombay High Court judge.
29 March 1996
Judge P D Kode designated as a special TADA judge for the case.
October 2000
Examination of 684 prosecution witnesses ends at the TADA Court.
9 March 2001 – 18 July 2001
 Statements of the accused recorded by the TADA Court.
9 August 2001
 Prosecution begins its arguments
18 October 2001 Prosecution completes arguments.
9 November 2001 Defence starts arguments.
22 August 2002 Defence closes arguments.
September 2003
Trial concluded. TADA Court reserves its judgment
10 August 2006
Judge P D Kode announces that judgement will be pronounced on September 12.
12 September 2006

Judge Pramod Kode, Presiding Officer of the Designated Court under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 delivered its verdict in Bombay Bomb Blast Case, Greater Bombay in BBC No. 1 of 1993.Yakub Memon sentenced to death along with other punishments.

Charges Punishment
Section 3(3) of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 Act, and
Section 120B of Indian Penal Code read with Section 3(2)(i)(ii), 3(3)(4), 5 and 6 of TADA (P) Act, 1987 and read with Sections 302, 307, 326, 324, 427, 435, 436, 201 and 212 of Indian Penal Code and offences Under Sections 3 and 7 read with Sections 25(1-A), (1-B)(a) of the Arms Act, 1959, Sections 9B(1)(a)(b)(c) of the Explosives Act, 1884, Sections 3, 4(a)(b), 5 and 6 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and Section 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984
Death Sentence + Fine of Rs. 25, 000
Section 3(3) of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 Act RI for life alongwith a fine of Rs. 1,00,000/-
Section 5 of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 Act RI for 10 years alongwith a fine of Rs. 1,00,000/-
Section 6 of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 Act RI for 14 years alongwith a fine of Rs. 1,00,000/-
Sections 3 & 4 read with Section 6 of the Explosive Substances Act RI for 10 years with a fine of Rs. 50,000/-
Post Judgment

Yakub and other convicts file an appeal to Supreme Court under Section 19 of the TADA Act – Criminal Appeal No. 1728 of 2007.

CBI also initiated proceedings before the Supreme Court for confirmation of the death sentence and appeals against the acquittal of some of the accused persons.

28 January 2008 SC bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan temporarily suspended the death penalty of Memon.
2009 Yakub approached Bombay High Court seeking consent to spend quality time with his family inside the prison premises. High Court dismissed Yakub’s petition, ruling that family meetings can take place only in the jail’s metal-barricaded interview room.
1 November 2011 Supreme Court begins hearing on appeals filed by the 100 convicts as well as by the State against certain acquittals.
29 August 2012 Supreme Court reserves its order on the appeals.
21 March 2013 Supreme Court dismissed Yakub’s appeal against his conviction and confirmed the death sentence given by the Special TADA Court. [READ JUDGMENT].The circumstances considered by the Supreme Court (as per the judgment)

Aggravating Circumstances:

While hearing Yakub’s appeal against his conviction and death sentence by TADA Court, Supreme Court noted his following conduct:

  • Tiger Memon had instructed other accused (those involved in blast) to stay in touch with Yakub for further instruction. Meaning thereby, Yakub had assumed the role of Tiger Memon in India during his absence.
  • Tiger Memon gave the commands to Yakub, who in turn had passed them to other accused thereby signifying the trusted position that Yakub had obtained from Tiger Memon.
  • Yakub’s role was limited not only to the extent of correspondence between the masterminds and all other accused but he was also entrusted with task of handling the explosive bags and for their safe keeping, which is again revealed in the confessional statements of various co-accused persons.
  • Yakub was actively involved in hawala transactions for the purpose of facilitating the blasts on 12th March 1993.
  • Yakub acquired tickets both for Dubai and Pakistan for transporting the [blast accused] to the respective places for the purpose of training and coaching them in envisaging their participation for the blasts in Bombay.
  • Yakub and Tiger, both owe an equivalent responsibility for the blasts, both were the architects of the blasts and played effective control over the incident unlike other accused.
  • Yakub was one of the brains behind the hatching of larger conspiracy for the Bombay Bomb Blasts in 1993.
  • The dominant position and significant role played by Yakub is a factor that may aggravate his punishment.
  • He was part of the deliberate choosing of localities like Century Bazaar, Zaveri Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Stock Exchange Building etc. where there was more prospect of public gathering. The manner of its execution and its design would put it at the level of extreme atrocity and cruelty.

Mitigating circumstances:

Yakub’s lawyer submitted before the Court that there were mitigating circumstances which which call for relaxation in the severity of sentence:

  • He is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a respectable person in the society before the occurrence of this incident.
  • It was a fabricated case and he was merely inflicted in the trial on the sole ground of being the brother of Tiger Memon. [Contention rejected by Supreme Court]
  • No criminal antecedent.
  • He had served more than 19 years in jail.
2013 Yakub filed a Review Petition seeking review of Supreme Court’s judgment – Review Petition (Crl) No. 474 of 2013.
30 July 2013 Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan reject Yakub’s application for oral hearing and dismiss his review petition by circulation. [READ ORDER]
2014 Yakub filed a Writ Petition before the Supreme Court as the issue of oral hearing of review petitions against death sentences were being heard by the Supreme Court – Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 108 of 2014.
2 June 2014 Yakub’s death sentence suspended. [READ ORDER]
2 September 2014 Supreme Court passes is judgment in Mohd Arif v The Registrar, Supreme Court of India & Ors – (2014) 9 SCC 737 and orders for ‘open court hearing’ in review petitions in cases involving death sentences.Open hearing to take place in the review petition filed by Yakub which was dismissed.
24 March 2015 Open Court hearing begins in Yakub’s Review Petition. Senior Counsel Vibha Dutta Makhija argued for the State of Maharashtra.
25 March 2015 Open Court hearing concluded. Senior Counsel Jaspal Singh represented Yakub.
9 April 2015 Supreme Courtdismisses Yakub Memon’s review petition. [READ ORDER]

Court observes:

We have gone through the judgment sought to be reviewed and we have considered the arguments advanced on both sides. As requested, we have also gone through the judgment of the trial court, in order to appreciate the contention on conviction and sentence. We find that all the arguments advanced by the review petitioner have been considered in detail in the judgment which is sought to be reviewed. Hence, we do not find any error apparent on the face of record or any other ground so as to warrant interference in exercise of our review jurisdiction.

30 April 2015 Death warrant issued by the Maharashtra Government for the execution of Memon. Warrant states that the execution to take place in Nagpur on 30 July, 2015.
22 May 2015 Memon files a Curative Petition before the Supreme Court of India.
21 July 2015

Curative Petition filed by Memon dismissed by the Supreme Court of India. [READ ORDER]

Petition was dismissed in chambers by CJI HL Dattu and Justices TS Thakur and AR Dave. Bench observed:

Since none of the grounds stated in the Curative Petition would fall within the parameters indicated in the case of Rupa Ashok Hurra (Supra), the Curative Petition stands dismissed.


Memon files a mercy petition with the Governor of Maharashtra.

Writ Petition filed for a stay on execution till the mercy petition is decided:

Writ Petition (Crl) No. 129 of 2015 – Yakub Abdul Razak Memon v. State Of Maharashtra

Petition refers to the 27 May order of the Supreme Court where it had quashed the “haste” death warrants issued to Amroha couple

24 July 2015 Writ Petition for stay mentioned before the Chief Justice of India. Chief Justice communicates that he had already assigned a bench to hear the matter.
27 July 2015 Supreme Court bench of Justices AR Dave and Kurien Joseph hears Memon’s petition for stay of his execution pending the decision on his mercy petition. After hearing, matter adjourned for 28 July, 2015
28 July 2015 Memon files a fresh Writ Petition challenging the validity of the order passed by the Supreme Court in the Curative Petition. Justices Dave and Joseph disagree on the grounds raised. Matter referred to a larger bench.Matter was then mentioned before the Chief Justice of India HL Dattu who communicated that he would constitute an appropriate bench. [READ ORDER]
29 July 2015 Three judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices Dipak Misra, PC Pant and Amitava Roy hear the Writ Petition filed by Memon seeking stay of his death warrant.After hearing the parties, Court dictated the order in an open court dismissing the writ petition filed by Memon. Bench also disagreed with the view of Justice Kurien Joseph over the  correctness of the constitution of the bench which had rejected the curative petition. [READ JUDGMENT]Court holds:

In view of the aforesaid analysis, we conclude that the curative petition which is decided by three senior most Judges of this Court cannot be flawed and the issue of death warrant by the TADA Court on 30.04 2015 cannot be found fault with. In the result, the writ petition, being sans merit, stands dismissed.

29 July 2015 Yakub filed a fresh mercy petition with the President of India. President, as per the norm, forwarded the same Unin Government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh and the top officials deliberated on the issue and advised Mukherjee to reject Memon’s plea. Late in the night, President rejected his mercy petition
30 July 2015 Around midnight of 29th and 30th July, a group of lawyes including Prashant Bhushan, Indira Jaising, Anand Grover and Nitya Ramakirshnan approached the CJI HL Dattu at his residence with a fresh mercy petition and sought a stay on the execution contending that there has to be a 14 day gap between the rejection of mercy petition and execution as per SC’s judgment in Shatrughan Chauhan case.The Registrar of the Supreme Court was called to CJI’s residence and CJI agreed for an immediate hearing of petition by the three-judge bench which had rejected Yakub’s petition previous day. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was called to represent the Union.The case was heard at the Supreme Court at 3 am. After an hour and 40 minutes long arguments, bench dismissed the petition holding that ample opportunities were given to Yakub to present his case. [READ JUDGMENT]
On 30 July 2015, at around 6.30 am, Yakub was executed at the Yarwada Jail at Nagpur.