New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday laid down new rules on review petitions filed by death row convicts. The court ruled that petitions by death row convicts will be heard by a bench of three judges in an open court.
Earlier, the petitions were heard in the chambers of two judges who pronounced the quantum of punishment and the parties were not allowed to be present.
The apex court has also allowed death row convicts, whose review petitions have already been dismissed, to file fresh pleas for reopening their cases within a month.
In a majority verdict by a five-judge constitution bench, the apex court said that a death convict whose curative petition has been decided cannot approach for re-opening of his review plea.
While four judges including Chief Justice RM Lodha favoured open court hearing of review petition, one judge Justice J Chelameswar gave a dissenting verdict.
The apex court passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by six death convicts including Red Fort attack case convict Mohammed Arif and 1993 Mumbai serial blast convict Yakub Abdul Razak Memon pleading the court that their review pleas should have been decided in open court hearing.
Other death convicts who filed the petitions are C Muniappan, BA Umesh, Sundar and Sonu Sardar.
(With additional information from PTI)