Centre asks SC to introduce 7-day limit for filing mercy plea by death row convicts

By Moneycontrol News

The Ministry of Home Affairs has also asked for a time limit to be introduced for filing of review and curative petitions in these cases.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on January 22 filed an application in the Supreme Court, seeking a modification in the guidelines for death penalty. The Centre wants the apex court to make the guidelines more "victim-centric" as opposed to their current "convict-centric" nature, in order to reinstate people's faith in the rule of law, news agency ANI reported.

The plea comes amid the existing uncertainty over the execution of the four death-row convicts. The MHA in its application has sought the introduction of a seven-day deadline for death-row convicts to file a mercy petition following the issue of death warrant. It has also asked for a time limit to be introduced for filing of review and curative petitions in these cases.

That all competent courts, State governments and prison authorities in India should be mandated to issue a death warrant of a convict within seven days of the rejection of his mercy petition by the President, thereafter executing them within seven days, regardless of the status of the review, curative or mercy plea of the co-convicts.

A clarification has thus been sought by the Centre with respect to the SC's judgement in the 2014 Shatrughan Singh Chauhan case where the court had taken into consideration some of the 'inalienable rights' of death row convicts while also taking a grim view of secret executions.

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