ANI Photo | Nimisha Priya case: Delhi HC directs petitioner to file document to show foreign court gave option of blood money

The Delhi High Court on Monday directed Nimisha Priya’s mother to place on record the document to show that a court in Yemen gave an option of blood money (diyah) to negotiate with the family of the deceased and to save her daughter from capital punishment.
The high court is hearing a petition moved by the mother of Nimisha Priya Tomy Thomas who has been sentenced to death in Yemen. Her mother wanted to go to Yemen to negotiate the blood money (diyah) to escape the death sentence.
Justice Subramonium directed petitioner Prema Kumari to file with an affidavit the related portion of the Yemen Court order that gave her a legal option of blood money to save her daughter while awarding a sentence.
The matter will be heard on Tuesday by the bench.
The counsel of the petitioner has already filed three affidavits of people who are ready to accompany the petitioner for travel to Yemen to negotiate the blood money.
The court on December 4, asked to file the affidavits.
The bench has noted the submissions made by the counsel for the Central Government that India has no diplomatic presence in Yemen, mainly in North Yemen, therefore they can’t allow them to travel to Yemen in the current situation.
Advocate Pavan Narang standing counsel for Centre had submitted, “We have no Indian presence there, we don’t want to convert the blood money into ransom money. Anything can happen there.”
He also submitted that there is South Yemen and North Yemen dispute. The Yemen Embassy in India is being run by South Yemen. He stated that India closed its embassy in view of the conflict.
On the other hand, the petitioner’s counsel Advocate Subhash Chandran KR submitted that some families are living in Yemen for many years. Some people are ready to go along with the petitioner.
The standing counsel of the centre opposed the submissions by saying that those people have got their roots there.
The court after hearing the submissions said, “Their affidavit be filed by tomorrow mentioning that if they are willing to go there with the petitioner.”
The High Court on Saturday issued notice on the plea moved by the mother of Indian nurse Nimisha Priya who was convicted of murdering a Yemeni national in Yemen. Nimisha has been sentenced to death.
Her mother Prem Kumari has moved a plea seeking direction to the Central Government to comply with the earlier orders of March 15, 2022, and November 16, 2023, passed by the High Court and also to facilitate the travel of the petitioner and other members of save Nimisha Priya International Action Council for negotiations with the family of victim on behalf of Nimisha Priya to save her life by paying blood money in accordance with the law of the land in a time bound manner.
It is stated that the Central Government has failed to take appropriate measures to facilitate the travel of the petitioner to Yemen in compliance with the previous orders passed by the High Court.
The plea stated that now the only way to save her life is to get a pardon from the family of the victim by paying “blood money”.
On November 16, 2023, the Senior Standing Counsel of Union of India had submitted the Supreme Judicial Council/Supreme Court of Yemen has dismiss the appeal filed by Nimisha Priya Tomy Thomas on November 11, 2023, the plea has stated.
It is also submitted that in compliance with the final order dated November 16, 2023, passed by the court, the petitioner submitted all required documents including copies of passports, affidavits etc., of the persons who are supposed to travel to Yemen for initiating “blood money” negotiations with the family of the victim for saving the life of an Indian citizen namely
Nimisha Priya Tomy Thomas to Central Government within the time but through a letter dated December 1, 2023, it did not grant permission and advised the petitioner and other accompanying persons not to go to Yemen at this juncture and urged the petitioner to reconsider her decision to go to Yemen.
Nimisha Priya, who is sentenced to death in Yemen. She is a trained nurse and has worked in private hospitals in Yemen for a few years. Her husband and minor daughter returned to India in 2014 because of financial reasons.
The plea stated that in the same year, Yemen was gripped by civil war, and they could not go back as the country stopped issuing new visas.
It is further stated that in 2015, Nimisha joined hands with Mahdi to set up her own clinic in Yemen’s capital city Sana. She sought Mahdi’s support because, under Yemen’s law, only nationals are allowed to set up clinics and business firms.
The plea also said that in 2015, Mahdi accompanied Nimisha Priya to Kerala when she came
on a month-long holiday. During the visit, he stole a wedding photograph of Nimisha, which he later manipulated to claim that he was married to her.
Later the ties between the duo deteriorated and Mahdi tortured her. After she started the clinic, Mahadi started cornering all the revenue. He became hostile when Nimisha questioned him about the embezzlement.
After a while, Nimisha’s clinic began, and Mahdi manipulated the ownership documents of the clinic. He also began to take money out of her monthly earnings after telling everyone that Nimisha was his wife and even morphed their pictures to show they were married, the plea said.
Nimisha had alleged that Mahdi had been harassing her and her family for years, taking money from there and even claiming to her husband, it added.
The plea alleged that the harassment then became physical torture. Soon, her life turned into a hell. Mahdi seized her passport. This was done to ensure that she would not leave Yemen. He tortured her under the influence of drugs. He threatened her at gunpoint several times. He took all the money from the clinic and her ornaments.
It further alleged that unable to cope with the torture, Nimisha complained to the police in Sana. But instead of taking action against Mahdi, the police arrested her and put her in jail for six days.
It is further alleged that on her return from jail, the severity of the torture increased manifold.
In July 2017, Nimisha took the help of a warden of a jail located near her clinic, where Mahdi had been jailed previously under various charges.
The warden suggested that she should try to sedate him, and then convince him to give her passport. However, sedation did not affect Mahdi, who was a substance abuser. She tried sedating him again, using a stronger sedative in order to retrieve her passport but he died within a few minutes due to a drug overdose.
It is stated that Nimisha Priya, after her sentence by a trial court in 2020, had filed an appeal against the death penalty in an Appeal Court in the Yemen capital Sana.
It is further stated that however, the Appeal Court in Yemen on March 7, 2022, dismissed the appeal. Thereafter an appeal is preferred before the Supreme Court / Supreme Judicial Council which is pending adjudication.
Now, the only way for her to escape from the death penalty is to gain pardon from the family of the deceased by paying blood money to the family in accordance with the law of the land (Shariah Law), the plea said.
It came to know from the lawyer who represented her before the Appeal Court that the option for ‘blood money’ is kept open by the Appeal Court even while dismissing her appeal, the plea said

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