New Delhi, January 22: Amid flak over the delayed execution of Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case convicts, the Centre moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking "victim-centric" guidelines in death row cases. The government, in its plea, noted that the guidelines are currently favouring the convicts in cases where capital punishment has been awarded. Delhi Court Issues Fresh Death Warrant, Convicts to be Hanged at 6 AM on Feb 1.
The application before the apex court, filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), states that a modification in the current set of guidelines is necessitated to ensure people's "faith in the law" remain intact. Among the suggestions made by the Centre include the fixing of a time frame for convicts to file their curative petitions against execution orders.
The MHA application also asks the top court to fix a seven-day deadline for filing of mercy petitions after the issuance of death warrant. In the case of Nirbhaya, where the death warrant was issued on January 7, the convicts took upto last week to file their curative pleas and move their mercy petitions before the President.
Update by ANI
The Ministry of Home Affairs today moved an application before the Supreme Court praying for modification of the "convict-centric" guidelines and to make them "victim-centric" to reinforce the people's faith in the rule of law. pic.twitter.com/e9cpm0JSrB
— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2020
The alleged delay tactics used by the convicts' counsel led to the postponement of execution scheduled on January 22. A Delhi court was forced to issue a fresh death warrant as the mercy pleas were yet to be disposed off. The bench has now fixed February 1 as the next date of execution.
Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi, who has led a relentless struggle for the last seven years to pursue justice for her daughter, broke down after the court had postponed the date of execution. Hitting out at the system, the victim's kin said either the "system is blind" or it favours the convicts more than the victim.