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Centre seeks urgent hearing in SC on plea for fixing 7-day deadline for executing death penalty

The Centre mentioned for urgent hearing in the Supreme Court its plea seeking fixing of a 7-day deadline for execution of death penalty after the issuance of black warrant saying the condemned prisoners take "judicial process for a ride".

PTI|
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2020, 09.06 PM IST
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It has also sought a direction from the court that a time period be fixed for such death row convicts for filing curative pleas after rejection of their review pleas.

The Centre on Thursday mentioned for urgent hearing in the Supreme Court its plea seeking fixing of a 7-day deadline for execution of death penalty after the issuance of black warrant saying the condemned prisoners take "judicial process for a ride". A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices S A Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the plea of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) be taken up and the directions issued in 2014 in the Shatrughan Chauhan case, which was convict-centric, be modified and be made victim-centric.

"You argue this when your (MHA's) petition comes up for hearing," the bench told Mehta who was arguing on behalf of Uttar Pradesh government to oppose the review of two death row convicts.

A bench, meanwhile, reserved its verdict on the review pleas of woman and her lover, both natives of Amroha in UP, for killing seven members of her family including parents, two brothers and their wives and strangulating her 10-month-old nephew in 2008.

The MHA plea said: "All the guidelines provided... are accused-centric. These guidelines, however, do not take into account an irreparable mental trauma, agony, upheaval and derangement of the victims and their family members, the collective conscience of the nation and the deterrent effect which the capital punishment intends to make."

It sought a direction "to mandate all competent courts, state governments, prison authorities in country to issue death warrant of a convict within seven days of rejection of his mercy petition and to execute death sentence within 7 days thereafter irrespective of the stage of review petition/curative petition/mercy petition of his co-convicts."

It has also sought a direction from the court that a time period be fixed for such death row convicts for filing curative pleas after rejection of their review pleas.

The ministry also sought a direction that if a death row convict wanted to file a mercy petition, it should be made mandatory for him to "do so only within a period of seven days from the date of receipt of death warrant issued by the competent court".

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