Mumbai:1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon's petition to stop his hanging on Thursday was referred to the Chief Justice of India after sharp differences between two judges today.
One of the judges, Justice Anil Dave, said Yakub's execution should not be stopped, because "if the king doesn't punish the guilty with red eyes then the entire sins will come on the king."
This was not acceptable to Justice Kurien Joseph, who said that there was a violation of procedure and "such technicality should not stand in the way to protect the life of a person."
The judges have asked Chief Justice HL Dattu to set up a larger bench to decide.
Yakub has pleaded that the death warrant for his execution is illegal because it was issued when he had not quite exhausted every legal option; his curative petition had not been heard at the time. It was rejected last week.
Justice Dave refused to stop the death warrant, but Justice Joseph agreed that the curative petition had not been dealt with correctly, and that the defect "needs to be cured otherwise there will be clear violation of Right to Life of the convict."
Yakub Memon, 53, was found guilty in 2007 of helping plan the deadly terror attack in which 257 people were killed in Mumbai. His brother Tiger Memon, the main accused along with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, has been missing since 1993.
Of the 11 sentenced to death, Yakub was the only convict not granted mercy.
A group of eminent citizens, including politicians, jurists and retired judges, have asked President Pranab Mukherjee to grant mercy to Yakub, arguing that "in comparison to Yakub Memon, the 10 co-accused persons planted the bombs and played a much more critical and direct role in the actual execution of the conspiracy."
The president rejected Yakub's mercy plea last year.
On Sunday, actor Salman Khan was forced to apologise and retract tweets in which he said instead of Yakub, his brother Tiger Memon, the main accused who is missing, should be hanged.