Apex court praised for ruling on death row prisoners

New Delhi, Jan 23: Amnesty International has hailed the Supreme Court ruling commuting the death sentences of 15 prisoners and setting out guidelines to safeguard the rights of those on death row.

“(It) is a positive step for human rights in the country,” Amnesty said in a statement.

The Supreme Court has commuted the death sentences of the 15 on the ground of delay in the disposal of their mercy petitions by the president ranging between five and 12 years.

The court commuted the death sentences of two men on the ground that they suffer from mental illness.

“This momentous decision reaffirms the rights guaranteed to death row prisoners under the Indian constitution and international law and standards,” said Amnesty India chief executive G. Ananthapadmanabhan.

“The verdict places a strong emphasis on the human rights of all persons, and should steer the country towards completely doing away with the death penalty,” he added.