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Nimisha Priya Case | Will Appeal Against Death Penalty In Yemen, Not Participate In Negotiations With Victim's Family: Centre To Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
15 March 2022 9:23 AM GMT
Nimisha Priya Case | Will Appeal Against Death Penalty In Yemen, Not Participate In Negotiations With Victims Family: Centre To Delhi High Court
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The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that it will take appropriate steps to institute an appeal before the next appellate forum challenging the death penalty awarded to Nimisha Priya, an Indian woman who was convicted by a Yemen court for killing a local in 2017. Anurag Ahluwalia appearing for the Centre, on instructions, apprised Justice Yashwant Varma that the Government...

The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that it will take appropriate steps to institute an appeal before the next appellate forum challenging the death penalty awarded to Nimisha Priya, an Indian woman who was convicted by a Yemen court for killing a local in 2017.

Anurag Ahluwalia appearing for the Centre, on instructions, apprised Justice Yashwant Varma that the Government of India shall take all proactive steps to institute an appeal before next appellate forum in accordance with prevalent law in Yemen.

He also apprised the Court that the Councillor present in Yemen shall extend cooperation and facilitate the travel of persons wanting to negotiate with victim's family in order to pursue their purported aim to settle the dispute.

The Centre also informed the Court that it is providing miscellaneous amounts to Priya for her daily expenses inside prison.

However, Ahluwalia categorically stated that so far as the prayer regarding payment of blood money is concerned, the Government of India will only be facilitating the travel and will not itself participate in the negotiations.

"Admittedly, an avenue of appeal to next appellate Court at Yemen is still open. In so far as first relief is concerned, the Court notes that it cannot possibly command the Union respondent to be party to any interventions or negotiations which the family of Indian national proposes to initiate," the Court noted at the outset.

The Court also noted that in so far as the Government of India is concerned, it can at best and in law be called upon only to facilitate the petitioner in pursuing the judicial remedy under laws which prevail in Yemen.

Accordingly, the Court requested the concerned Ministry to duly pursue the remedy of further appeal against order of conviction.

"The Court further requests the Ministry of External Affairs to communicate to the concerned Councillor to facilitate travel of the petitioner as well as to provide help of interpreters if so require," it added.

Accordingly, the plea was disposed of.

The plea sought directions to the Centre to facilitate negotiations with the victim's family and save Priya from capital punishment by paying blood money in accordance with the Yemen law.

Filed by Advocate Subhash Chandran K.R., the plea was moved by 'Save Nimisha Priya International Action Council' through its Chairman, an organisation formed by a group of Non-Resident Keralites, working at different countries and also in different parts of India. The petitioner organization sought to ensure access to justice to Nimisha Priya and also to raise funds through donations for paying blood money if the family of victim agreed to pardon her.

On March 7, 2022, an appellate court in Yemen dismissed the appeal filed by Nimisha Priya, who was sentenced to death for the murder of Talal Abdo Mahdi in the year 2017. Nimisha allegedly injected him with sedatives to retrieve her passport that was in his possession. Nimisha had allegedly abuse and torture by Mahdi.

The plea, which arrayed Ministry of Home Affairs and Embassy of India Sana'a, Yemen as party respondents, sought that the Respondents must facilitate diplomatic interventions as well as negotiations with the family of victim on behalf of Ms. Nimisha Priya to save her life by paying blood money.

It was further prayed that immediate steps may be initiated for filing a formal appeal before the Supreme Court / Supreme Judicial Council to save the life of Nimisha Priya in accordance with the law of Yemen.

Case Title: SAVE NIMISHA PRIYA INTERNATIONAL ACTION COUNCIL THROUGH ITS CHAIRMAN v. UNION OF INDIA & ANR.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 204

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