The Supreme Court on 12th February issued guidelines regarding listing of Criminal Appeals against High Court orders involving death penalty. Through the guidelines the Supreme Court seeks to speed up hearing in all cases of death penalty. It has decided that appeals would be listed for hearing before a three judge bench and it should not be later than six months. Within a period of 60 days of filing of the petition, Original case records, along with translations, would be sought. The Supreme Court said that the guidelines shall be followed scrupulously by all.
- Guidelines will ensure speedy hearing in criminal cases in matters regarding death penalty.
- According to the orders issued on 12th this month, these guidelines are to be followed by everyone scrupulously.
- These guidelines will for surely lower down the heat faced by the judiciary these days because of the delay in the execution of the Nirbhaya convicts.
The Guidelines issued
The guidelines issued as per the office order of 12th February are as follows:
“(A) In matters where appeal is against a High Court order upholding death penalty and leave is granted by Supreme Court, the Criminal Appeal will be listed for hearing before a Three Judges Bench within not later than six months from the date of grant of leave, irrespective of whether appeal is ready or not.
(B)(i) As soon as an SLP involving death penalty is filed, a communication from the Registry may be sent to the court appealed from, seeking certificate of service as well as original record within a period of thirty days from the receipt of such intimation or further within such period as may be directed by the Court. The record will be sent along with the translated copy of the documents which may be in vernacular language.
(ii) On grant of leave by the Supreme Court, the Registry may insist for filing of additional documents by the parties within a period of thirty days after the receipt of intimation in this regard.
(iii) In the event records or additional documents have not been received /filed, the matter may be listed before Judges concerned in Chambers with appropriate office report for directions, instead of listing the matter before the Registrar Court as per the existing practice.”
As per the guidelines any matter related to an appeal against a High Court order upholding death penalty, the criminal appeal will be listed for hearing before a three judge bench of the Court and it needs to be within and not late than 6 months from date of acceptance of the appeal by the Apex Court. This fact will be irrespective of whether the appeal is ready or not.
As per the new guidelines issued any SLP, appeal against any High Court order, involving death penalty is filed, the Registry may sent a communication to the court appealed from, seeking all original records as well as certificate of service within a period of 30 days from the receipt of such intimation. The records that will be sent are to be sent along with a translated copy of the document which may be in vernacular language.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. Supreme Court of India, Office Order, F.no. 35/Judl./2020, 12th February 2020