The Delhi High Court was apprised by the Central Government on Thursday that the Supreme Court in Yemen had, on November 13, rejected the appeal of Nimisha Priya, a Malayali nurse, against the death sentence she faced for the murder of a Yemeni national. The victim, Talal Abdo Mahdi, was allegedly murdered by Priya in 2017, who was sentenced to death by the Yemeni appellate court on March 7, 2022. The recent development places the final decision in the hands of the President of Yemen, as communicated by the Central Government.
The court proceedings revolved around a writ petition filed by Nimisha Priya's mother, who sought permission to travel to Yemen despite the existing travel ban on Indian nationals. The purpose of her travel was to negotiate with the victim's family by offering blood money. The Delhi High Court, presided over by Justice Subramonium Prasad, directed the Union Government to decide on the representation within one week.
The legal discourse unfolded after the Union Government's counsel informed the court about a recent notification suggesting a potential relaxation of the travel ban to Yemen for Indian nationals under specific circumstances and durations. In light of this information, the court decided to treat the petition as a representation and instructed the government to make a decision within the stipulated time frame.
Nimisha Priya's mother, in her plea, emphasized that the only recourse to spare her daughter from the death penalty was through negotiations with the victim's family, involving the payment of blood money. The travel ban, however, hindered her ability to undertake such negotiations. The court acknowledged the unique circumstances and directed the government to consider the representation expeditiously.
The appellate court in Yemen had previously dismissed Nimisha Priya's appeal on March 7, 2022. The nurse was accused of injecting sedatives into Talal Abdo Mahdi to retrieve her passport allegedly held by him. Nimisha Priya claimed to have faced abuse and torture at the hands of Mahdi, providing a complex backdrop to the case.
Notably, a coordinate bench in a previous hearing had disposed of a petition seeking directions to the Centre for facilitating negotiations with the victim's family to save Nimisha Priya from capital punishment. The plea sought compliance with Yemeni law, which allows for the payment of blood money as a means of clemency. Subsequently, an appeal against the single judge's order was dismissed by a division bench.
The recent court directive to the Union Government to consider the representation within a week reflects a balance between legal procedures and the urgency of the situation. The evolving circumstances, including the potential relaxation of the travel ban, add a layer of complexity to the case. Nimisha Priya's fate now hinges on the decision of the Yemeni President and the outcome of any negotiations facilitated by her mother, subject to the government's approval. The case underscores the intersection of international legal processes and the human dimension of seeking clemency in the face of a death sentence.
TAGS: Nimisha Priya ,Yemen ,Supreme Court ,Death sentence Delhi High Court Central Government Appeal ,Travel ban ,Blood money,Writ petition