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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

YAKUB ABDUL RAZAK MEMON = In view of the disagreement between us, the Registry is directed to place the papers before Hon'ble The Chief Justice of India, preferably today, so that an appropriate Bench could be constituted and the matter can be heard on merits as soon as possible, preferably tomorrow i.e. on 29.07.2015.

                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                 WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL)  No.  129 OF 2015

      YAKUB ABDUL RAZAK MEMON                     Petitioner(s)

                                VERSUS

      STATE OF MAHARASHTRA, THR. THE SECRETARY,
      HOME DEPARTMENT AND ORS.                          Respondent(s)


                               J U D G M E N T

ANIL R. DAVE, J.
      Heard the learned senior counsel  appearing  for  both  the  sides  at
length.
      It is a fact that the conviction of the petitioner has been  confirmed
by this Court and the Review Petition  as  well  as  the  Curative  Petition
filed by the petitioner have also been dismissed by this  Court.   Moreover,
His Excellency Hon'ble  The  President  of  India  and  His  Excellency  The
Governor of Maharashtra have also rejected applications for pardon  made  by
the petitioner, possibly because of the gravity of the offence committed  by
the petitioner.
      It has been  submitted  by  the  learned  counsel  appearing  for  the
petitioner that one more application made to His Excellency The Governor  of
Maharashtra is still pending.

      If it is so, it would be  open  to  His  Excellency  The  Governor  of
Maharashtra to dispose of the said application before the date on which  the
sentence  is  to  be  executed,  if  His  Excellency  wants  to  favour  the
petitioner.
      Submissions made about the Curative Petition do not appeal  to  me  as
they are irrelevant and there is no substance in them.
      In these circumstances, the Writ Petition is dismissed.

                                                   .......................J.
                                                             [ANIL R. DAVE ]



      New Delhi;
      July 28, 2015.
                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                 WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL)  No.  129 OF 2015

      YAKUB ABDUL RAZAK MEMON                     Petitioner(s)

                                VERSUS

      STATE OF MAHARASHTRA, THR. THE SECRETARY,
      HOME DEPARTMENT AND ORS.                          Respondent(s)


                               J U D G M E N T

KURIAN JOSEPH, J.
      I regret my inability to agree with my learned brother.
      During the course of admission hearing of the petition  under  Article
32 of the Constitution  of  India,  a  question  arose  as  to  whether  the
Curative Petition in this case has been  decided  in  accordance  with  law.
The matter was partly heard yesterday and the arguments  were  deferred  for
today on this issue.
      Heard Mr.  Raju  Ramachandran,  Mr.  T.R.Andhyarujina  and  Mr.  Anand
Grover, learned  senior  counsel  and  Mr.Mukul  Rohtagi,  learned  Attorney
General, at length.
      Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees life  to  a  person
and the person shall be deprived of his life only  in  accordance  with  the
procedure established by law.  The Curative Petition in Order XLVIII of  the
Supreme Court Rules, 2013 is one procedure regarding  the  remedy  available
to a person even after the Review Petition is dismissed.
      The synopsis portion of the Curative Petition reads as follows :-
      “The present Curative Petition under Article 142 of  the  Constitution
of India arises in an exceptional case as grave injustice  has  been  caused
to the petitioner whereby his fundamental rights as guaranteed to him  under
Articles 14 and 21  of  the  Constitution  of  India  have  been  completely
violated.  Hence, the petitioner most humbly beseeches  this  Hon'ble  Court
to kindly reconsider its order dated 9.4.2015, in terms whereof, the  Review
Petition of the petitioner seeking  reconsideration  of  its  Order/Judgment
dated 21.3.2013 in Criminal Appeal No. 1728 of 2007 (reported in  (2013)  13
SCC 1) was dismissed.”
                                                         (emphasis supplied)
      The prayers in the Curative Petition read as follows:-
(a)   Allow the present curative petition  filed  against  the  order  dated
9.4.2015 in Review Petition (Criminal) No. 474 of 2013;
(b)   Consequently, restore Criminal Appeal No.  1728  of  2007  decided  on
21.3.2013 for hearing; and
(c)  Pass any other or further order(s) as this Hon'ble Court may  deem  fit
in the facts and circumstances of the present case and in  the  interest  of
justice and equity.”

      The order passed in  the  Curative  Petition  is  made  available  for
perusal in the paperbook of the Writ Petition.  It is seen  that  the  order
dated 21.07.2015 dismissing the Curative Petition has been considered  by  a
Bench of three senior-most Judges of this Court.
      Order XLVIII of the Supreme Court  Rules,  2013  deals  with  Curative
Petition and Rule 4(1) and (2) read as follows :-
“4(1)  The curative petition shall be first circulated to  a  Bench  of  the
three senior-most judges and the judges who passed the  judgment  complained
of, if available.
(2)   Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, a curative  petition  shall  be
disposed of by circulation, without any oral arguments  but  the  petitioner
may supplement his petition by additional written arguments.”
                                                         (Emphasis supplied)

      'Judgment' is defined under the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 under  Order
I Rule 2(k) as follows :-
“'judgment' includes decree, order, sentence or determination of any  Court,
Tribunal, Judge or Judicial Officer.”

      Therefore, in terms of the Judgment as  defined  under  the  Rules,  a
Curative Petition has to be circulated  to  a  Bench  of  three  senior-most
Judges of this  Hon'ble  Court  and  the  Judges  who  passed  the  Judgment
complained of, if available.
      In the instant case, the Judgment  complained  of  (be  it  the  order
passed in the Review  Petition)  is  passed  by  a  Bench  of  three  Judges
comprising of Hon'ble Sh. Anil R. Dave, J., Hon'ble Sh. J.  Chelameswar,  J.
and myself, but the Curative  Petition  is  circulated  only  to  the  three
senior-most Judges.
      It may not also be totally out of  context  to  note  that  the  order
dated 09.04.2015  in  the  Review  Petition  is  captioned  as  a  Judgment,
apparently, in terms of the  definition  of  'judgment'  under  the  Supreme
Court Rules.  Thus, it is found that the procedure prescribed under the  law
has been violated while dealing with the Curative  Petition  and  that  too,
dealing with life of a person.  There is an error apparent on  the  face  of
the order in the Curative  Petition.   The  mandatory  procedure  prescribed
under law has not been followed.
      Though the learned senior counsel and  the  learned  Attorney  General
referred to various grounds available in a Curative Petition, in the  nature
of the view I have taken in the matter that  the  Curative  Petition  itself
has not been decided in accordance with the Rules prescribed by this  Court,
that defect needs to be cured first.  Otherwise, there is a clear  violation
of Article 21 of the Constitution of India in the instant case.
      The learned Attorney General, inter alia, contended that this  is  not
an issue raised in the writ  proceedings.   I  do  not  think  that  such  a
technicality should stand in the way  of  justice  being  done.   When  this
Court as the protector of the life of the  persons  under  the  Constitution
has come to take note of a situation where a procedure  established  by  law
has not been followed while depriving the life of a person, no  technicality
shall stand in the way of justice being done.  After all,  law  is  for  man
and law is never helpless and the Court particularly the repository of  such
high  constitutional  powers  like  Supreme  Court  shall  not  be  rendered
powerless.
      In the above circumstances, I find that  the  order  dated  21.07.2015
passed in the Curative Petition is  not  as  per  the  procedure  prescribed
under the Rules.  Hence,  the Curative Petition has to be considered  afresh
in terms of the mandatory requirement under Rule 4 of Order  XLVIII  of  the
Supreme Court Rules, 2013.
      In that view of the matter, the death warrant issued pursuant  to  the
Judgment of the TADA Court dated 12.09.2006, as confirmed by this  Court  by
its Judgment dated  21.03.2013,  of  which  the  Review  Petition  has  been
dismissed on 09.04.2015, is stayed till  a  decision  afresh  in  accordance
with law is taken in the Curative Petition.
      After a decision is taken  on  the  matter,  as  abovesaid,  the  Writ
Petition be placed for consideration before the Court.

                                                   .......................J.
                                                             [KURIAN JOSEPH]

      New Delhi;
      July 28, 2015.
                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                 WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL)  No.  129 OF 2015

      YAKUB ABDUL RAZAK MEMON                     Petitioner(s)

                                VERSUS

      STATE OF MAHARASHTRA, THR. THE SECRETARY,
      HOME DEPARTMENT AND ORS.                          Respondent(s)


                                  O R D E R

      In view of the disagreement between us, the Registry  is  directed  to
place the papers before Hon'ble  The  Chief  Justice  of  India,  preferably
today, so that an appropriate Bench could be constituted and the matter  can
be heard on  merits  as  soon  as  possible,  preferably  tomorrow  i.e.  on
29.07.2015.
                                                   .......................J.
                                                             [ANIL R. DAVE ]


                                                   .......................J.
                                                             [KURIAN JOSEPH]

      New Delhi;
      July 28, 2015.

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