Sunday, June 16, 2024

Delhi HC gives a week to Centre to decide on woman’s plea to travel to Yemen to save daughter on death row

The Delhi High Court on Thursday gave a week’s time to the Central Government to decide the representation of a woman seeking to travel to Yemen to save her daughter from the death penalty in that country.

The mother of Nimisha Priya, an Indian citizen who has been sentenced to death in Yemen for the murder of a Yemeni national, had approached the High Court last month seeking permission to travel to the West Asian country to negotiate with the victim’s family. She wants to negotiate with the victim’s family by offering ‘blood money’ to save her daughter from the death penalty.

The petitioner is seeking permission to travel to Yemen despite the travel ban imposed on Indian nationals visiting the country by the Government.

The counsel for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) submitted, “The issue is that they want to go to Yemen. Now there is a bar…this is the gazette notification wherein they are supposed to apply to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and they will get the permission, then they can apply”.

However, the counsel for the petitioner, Priya’s mother told the court that they had already made a representation on April 25, 2022.

The Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad noted that the travel ban can be relaxed by the Centre for specific and essential reasons for a limited period of time.

“The Clause 3 of the Gazette Notification reads as….in view of the notification, the present writ petition be treated as a representation. The respondents are directed to decide the representation within a period of one week from today. The writ petition is disposed”, the court ordered.

The Judge also directed the counsel of the petitioner to specify the details of the other members of the family who intend to travel with the petitioner, along with a copy of their passport, within two days.

“Liberty is granted to the petitioner to approach this court, if needed”, the court added.

Justice Prasad had sought a response from the Central government and directed it to file a status report in the matter.

Priya’s mother believes that the only way to save her daughter from death penalty is to negotiate with the deceased’s family by offering ‘blood money’. However, she is currently unable to do so due to the travel restrictions.

In March 2022, an appellate court in Yemen had dismissed Priya’s appeal. She was sentenced to death for the murder of Talal Abdo Mahdi in 2017.

It is alleged that she injected him with sedatives to retrieve her passport, which he had in his possession. She had reportedly suffered abuse and torture at the hands of Mahdi.

Last year, a Coordinate Bench had disposed of a petition requesting the Central Government to facilitate negotiations with the victim’s family to save Priya from death penalty by paying ‘blood money’ in accordance with Yemeni law.

Subsequently, an appeal against the Single Judge’s order was dismissed by a Division Bench.



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