Twenty years after the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, the brother of missing underworld don Ibrahim or "Tiger" Memon.
The judges commuted the death sentence of 10 others. So now, 30 people have been given life imprisonment for their role in the terror attack which killed more than 250 and injured more than 700.
The apex court also upheld the conviction of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt
under the Arms Act and sentenced him to five years in prison. Because he has already served 18 months in jail, he will be imprisoned for a little over three years. (Read)
The court described the Memon brothers as the "driving spirit" and "architects of the blasts, without whom the plan would have never seen daylight."
While Yakub is in a Nagpur jail, Tiger is believed to be in Pakistan along with fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim.
Referring to the 10 accused whose death sentence was commuted, the court said: "Since Yakub Memon as well as other absconders were the real conspirators who hatched the scheme for such a tragic act, the other 10 appellants were mere subservient subordinates whose knowledge and acquaintance might have been restricted to their counterparts."
The court clarified that the 10 people whose sentences were commuted would be "imprisoned for life until their death".
The judges said, "Technically, it is these 10 appellants who parked the explosive filled vehicles in the respective destinations...."
They said they had taken into account the fact that the group belonged to "lower strata of society, most of whom don't even have any regular job for their livelihood" and had "fallen prey to the ulterior motive of the conspirators for accomplishing their hidden motives, which was to spread terror among the people".