Government moves to Supreme Court seeking more 'victim-centric' death penalty guidelines

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 22, 2020, 06.55 PM(IST)

File photo: Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( ANI )

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In the plea, the government sought a direction from the top court in fixing the deadline for filing of curative pleas after the rejection of review petitions.

Amid the outrage row over delay in death penalty of Nirbhaya, gang-rape and murder case convicts, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday moved to Supreme Court to seeking modifications of the "convict-centric" guidelines to make them more "victim-centric".

In the plea, the government sought a direction from the top court in fixing the deadline for filing of curative pleas after the rejection of review petitions.

According to the plea filed in the top court today, the modifications are needed to reinforce the "people's faith in the rule of law". It also asked to set a time-limit for convicts using their available legal options.

The government also wanted the court to direct that a death row convict can only file a mercy plea within seven days of receiving the death warrant; while the state governments and authorities should issue death warrant within seven days of the mercy plea being rejected.

"If the convict of death sentence wants to file mercy petition, it would be mandatory for a convict of death sentence to do so only within a period of seven days from the date of receipt of death warrant issued by the competent court", the government stated in the plea.

The top court, on January 20, had rejected the plea of a death row convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case challenging the Delhi High Court order which had dismissed his claim of being a juvenile at the time of offence saying he cannot re-agitate the issue by filing a fresh application.

A Delhi court has recently issued fresh death warrants for February 1 against the four convicts -- Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31), Mukesh Kumar Singh (32) and Pawan (26) -- in the case after their hanging got delayed from January 22 due to pending petitions.

The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before she was thrown out on the road. 

(With inputs from agencies)