SC questions death warrants issuance by trial courts

SC questions issuance of death warrants by trial courts before expiry of time period for appeal

Supreme Court, Delhi

The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the issuance of black warrants for execution of death penalty by trial courts even before the expiry of 60-day time period for filing of appeal by convicts in the apex court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde referred to the 2015 verdict of the apex court in which it was held that the death warrant cannot be issued before the expiry of 60-day mandatory period available to a convict for filing the appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court's judgement.

"We want to know as to how such orders issuing black warrants are being passed by the trial court despite a reported judgement in this regard.

"Someone has to explain this. The judicial process cannot be allowed to happen like this," the bench said.

It also stayed the death warrant issued by a Gujarat sessions court against a convict Anil Surendra Singh Yadav in a rape and murder case.

The bench also sought assistance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and asked him to find out reasons for issuance of such death warrants despite the apex court's judgement.

The law officer said the ignorance of law cannot be grounds for judges to pass such orders.

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