Death row convict Yakub Memon pursuing PG course

Death row convict Yakub Memon pursuing PG course

Death row convict Yakub Memon pursuing PG course

Death row convict Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, a key conspirator with Dawood Ibrahim in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case whose execution was stayed by the Supreme Court last week, is appearing for MA (Political Science) examination in the central jail here.

Memon, a chartered accountant, is appearing for second year exams.

"He wrote his first paper on June 3 and another paper yesterday from his 'Fasi Yard' (high security ward where prisoners awaiting capital punishment are lodged) in the Nagpur Central Jail. Being a high-profile prisoner, he is not allowed to go out," Indira Gandhi National Open University's (IGNOU) regional director P Sivaswaroop told PTI here.

His examinations would conclude on June 28, he said.

Along with Memon, there are five more death row convicts in the jail here taking the exams, Sivaswaroop pointed out.

"Over 300 prisoners are appearing for various courses of IGNOU, which is certainly a good sign. For us, Memon is just like other jail inmates serving various terms behind bars," he said.

Memon had earlier completed his MA (English) in second division and was conferred with a degree during convocation on April 12, 2013, at Nagpur University's Guru Nanak Hall, the IGNOU director said.

But since he was on death row, police refused him permission to attend the ceremony, unlike other prisoners. His degrees were later conferred on him in jail premises, he said.

The apex court had on June 2 stayed Memon's execution and referred to a constitution bench his plea that review pleas in death penalty cases be heard in an open court and not in chambers.

A bench of justices J S Kehar and C Nagappan had sought responses from the State of Maharashtra, the Law Ministry and the apex court Registrar, also on the plea of Memon of commuting his death sentence to life, saying, "in the meantime the execution will remain stayed."

The apex court had earlier on March 21, 2013, upheld the death sentence of Memon in connection with the Mumbai blasts case.

Memon is the younger brother of Tiger Memon, mastermind of 1993 blasts that rocked 12 crowded areas in Mumbai leaving 257 dead and over 700 injured.

Earlier, the apex court, in its verdict, had dealt with the role played by Memon in the serial blasts and said he was the "driving force" and a "mastermind" behind the blasts.