Kerala nurse death sentence case: Delhi HC seeks documents on Yemen Court's nod on blood money

Kerala nurse Nimisha Priya was convicted of murdering Talal Abdo Mahdi, who died in July 2017, after she injected him with sedatives in order to get back her passport from his possession.
Delhi High Court. (File photo)
Delhi High Court. (File photo)

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the mother of Nimisha Priya, a Kerala nurse awaiting death sentence in Yemen after being convicted in a murder case of a local citizen there, to provide documents showing the foreign court's legal option on blood money, a last resort to negotiate with the victim's family to save her daughter.

Petitioner Premakumari, the mother of Priya, hailing from Kollengode in Kerala's Palakkad, was approaching the Delhi High Court seeking a nod to travel along with three others to a foreign country, where Indians are not allowed to go. 

The Central Government had apprised the court that India does not have diplomatic ties with Yemen and it has closed down its embassy there.

The only possibility of any reprieve for Nimisha is if the family of victim Talal Abdo Mahdi pardons her for blood money -- compensation paid by an offender or his kin to the family of the victim -- by the Sharia law and diplomatic intervention.

During Monday's hearing before Justice Subramonium Prasad, it was apprised that Yemen’s Supreme Court had on November 13 dismissed her appeal and upheld the death sentence leaving the last possible way to escape from the capital punishment by paying blood money.

"File that portion with an affidavit where the Yemen court while awarding the death penalty has given this legal option of paying blood money," Justice Subramonium Prasad said while listing the matter for Tuesday.

Representing Priya's mother, Advocate Subhash Chandran K R, informed the high court that blood money is a part of the legal system in the Middle Eastern country and it was allowed under the Sharia law.

Nimisha, a nurse from Kerala, had been working in Yemen when travel to and from the country was banned in 2016 due to the Civil War. Her husband and daughter returned to India in 2014, but she couldn't due to her job.

In 2015, with the help of a Yemeni national Talal Mahdi, she set up a clinic.

Soon, differences cropped up between her and Mahdi and she had alleged abuse, torture by him and taking away her passport, making her trip back to her home state impossible. Mahdi also misrepresented himself as her husband to the Yemeni authorities, due to which she couldn't get any aid from them.

Priya has been convicted of murdering Talal Abdo Mahdi, who died in July 2017, after she injected him with sedatives in order to get back her passport from his possession.

It was alleged that Priya administered him sedatives so she could take back her passport while he was unconscious but he died of an overdose.

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