Centre moves SC seeking 7-day deadline for hanging death row convicts

The Centre on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court for fixing a seven-day deadline for executing death penalty of condemned prisoners.

The plea of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) assumes significance in view of the the death row convicts in the sensational Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case of 2012 filing review, curative and mercy petitions, which has delayed their hanging.

The MHA's plea sought a direction from the top court in fixing the deadline for filing of curative pleas after the rejection of review petitions.

It also sought a direction that "if the convict of death sentence wants to file mercy petition, it would be mandatory for a convict of death sentence to do so only within a period of seven days from the date of receipt of death warrant issued by the competent court".

The MHA submitted that the top court should "mandate all the competent courts, state governments, prison authorities in the country to issue death warrant 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".