SC to examine victim and society-centric guidelines in death penalty cases

No time limit for anticipatory bail, rules SC

The Centre had requested the court to mandate all the competent courts, state governments, prison authorities, to issue death sentence of a convict within seven days of the rejection of mercy petition. (File)

A week after the Centre moved an application in the Supreme Court, it agreed to examine the MHA request for 'victim-centric' guidelines in death penalty cases on Friday.

The Centre, on the backdrop of the 2012 Delhi gangrape case had moved an application in the Supreme Court observing that crime convicts are taking the "judicial process for a ride", sought to modify the "convict-centric" guidelines in death penalty cases and rather make them "victim-centric".

The government had asked the apex court to also introduce a seven-day deadline for death row convicts to file mercy petitions besides introducing a time limit for filing of review and curative petitions in such cases. The plea has said the apex court opined that the delay in execution of death penalty has got a "de-humanising effect" upon the death convicts.

The Centre had requested the court to “mandate all the competent courts, state governments, prison authorities, to issue death sentence of a convict within seven days of the rejection of his mercy petition and to execute death sentence within seven days thereafter, irrespective of the stage of review petition/curative petition/mercy petition of his co-convicts”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde has sought response from various stakeholders on whose petition the guidelines relating to the execution of death row convicts were laid down in 2014 referring to the Shatrughan Chauhan case.

The issue of conviction and death sentence connected with the Shatrughan Chauhan case would not be altered while dealing with the Centre's plea, the bench further said. The Supreme Court issued notice to respondents who were named in the 2014 case.

(with PTI inputs)

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