MUMBAI: The Supreme Court verdict clearing the way for the execution of Yakub Memon, the only person condemned to death in 1993 Mumbai blasts, was widely welcomed today as historic and which would send a message that those who indulge in terror acts against India will be hanged.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a message that those who indulge in terror acts against India will be hanged. I welcome this message and I thank the Prime Minister," senior Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam told reporters.
Samajwadi Party legislator Abu Azmi said he welcomed the apex court verdict with "bowed head".
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who had led the prosecution team during the Mumbai blast trial in TADA Court, said the dismisal of the Memom's curative petition was "historic" and that it would send a "strong signal" to the people in the country and across the border that the guilty would not be spared.
Fugitive accused in this case, Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon (brother of Yakub), who are suspected to be hiding in Pakistan, would learn a lesson from this verdict that no one was above the law and would have to pay for his act, Nikam told PTI while welcoming the SC judgement.
The Government of India would get a boost with this judgement to prevail upon the international community to bring pressure on Pakistan to deport Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon who had allegedly masterminded the bomb blasts in which 257 people were killed and 713 were injured, Nikam said.
BJP leader NC Shaina said the apex court verdict has sent a message that terror has no place in our society.
Special TADA Court Judge PD Kode, who conducted the trial, termed the rejection of the curative plea as "a solace" after 22 years and a victory for those who believe in the rule of the law".
"The Supreme Court judgment shows that indulging in criminal activities is not a profitable business. As far as India is concerned, we don't tolerate the people who play with the valuable fundamental rights of the citizens enshrined in the Constitution," Kode said.
Eminent criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani said the verdict was a "welcome step".