New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the Central government’s stand on a plea seeking its diplomatic intervention in a case of Kerala nurse Nimisha Priya, who was awarded a death sentence by a Yemeni Court, in connection with the murder of a Yemini citizen five years ago.
During the course of the hearing, counsel appeared for ‘Save Nimisha Priya International Action Council’ pleaded before the High Court to issue direction to the Centre to facilitate negotiations with the family of the victim on behalf of the nurse to save her life by paying the ‘blood money’ — compensation paid by an offender or his kin to the family of the victim — in accordance with the law in Yemen.
Justice V. Kameswar Rao, however, asked, “This happened in Yemen. How does this court have jurisdiction then? How is this maintainable?”
The counsel argued that under the Shariat law, legal heirs can be compensated and in turn, the death sentence can be commuted. “Due to the socio-political situation in Yemen, travel to the Western Asian country is not allowed and there is no way for her family or well-wishers to visit Yemen and pay the ‘blood money’ to secure her release,” the counsel said, seeking a direction to the Central government to facilitate negotiations through proper channels.
Accordingly, the bench asked the stand of the Central government through its counsel.
The hearing into the matter will continue on Tuesday.
“It is learnt from the lawyer who represented her (Nimisha) before the appeal court that the option for ‘blood money’ is kept open by the appeal court. A copy of the judgment is yet to be received and the limitation for appeal before the Supreme Judicial Council is 40 days only. If the appeal before the Supreme Judicial Council is dismissed, execution may take place any time,” the plea read.
It was alleged that Nimisha has been held guilty of murder after she gave sedatives to a man named Talal Abdo Mahdi who “kept her passport and kept her like a slave” in Yemen, the plea said.
It also said the deceased physically and financially abused her and locked away her passport so she could not come back to India. Nimisha and a friend then gave sedatives to the deceased, leading to his death due to overdose.
It also alleged that Mahdi had forged documents to show that he was married to her. She had sought his help to start her own clinic but he cheated on her financially and later started torturing her.
On March 7, a Yemen court had dismissed the appeal of Nimisha in the murder case in which she, along with another person, is the prime accused.
Hailing from Palakkad, Nimisha, a nurse by profession, reached Yemen in 2012 with her husband.