Centre Seeks Time Limit on Final Pleas by Death Row Convicts

The Centre on Wednesday, 22 January, moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of Shatrughan Chauhan judgment on rights available to death row convicts, and sought the imposition of a time limit on filing curative petition after a review was rejected.

It also sought the SC’s direction that a death row convict should file mercy plea within seven days from the date of receipt of death warrant.

A 2014 judgment in Shatrughan Chauhan vs Union of India said:

“It is necessary that a minimum period of 14 days be stipulated between the receipt of communication of the rejection of the mercy petition and the scheduled date of execution...”

The Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) plea comes after Nirbhaya's father had urged the Supreme Court to frame guidelines on the number of pleas a convict can file so that people can get time-bound justice.

His remarks came after the Supreme Court on Monday rejected the plea of Pawan Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

“The case has been heard thrice by the lower court, the Delhi High Court and the SC. The SC should use some special powers to set some time-limit for filing applications. It is not about Nirbhaya, but even other daughters too. We request it to frame guidelines so that Nirbhaya and other daughters get justice in a time-bound manner,” he had said.

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