Yemen Supreme Court rejects Indian nurse Nimisha Priya's plea against death sentence: Centre

Accused of murdering a Yemeni national in 2017

nimisha priya yemen Nimisha Priya | Twitter

The Supreme Court of Yemen on November 13 rejected the mercy plea of Nimisha Priya, the Indian nurse sentenced to death for the murder of a Yemeni national, according to reports. The Centre confirmed this during a hearing at the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

The Centre also stated that only the Yemeni President can now decide on her plea to reject the death sentence.

In October, Nimisha's mother Premakumari had moved the HC seeking permission to travel to Yemen to negotiate with the victim's family by paying blood money, Live Law reported. The apex court had sought response from the Centre and directed it to file a status report.

On Friday, the HC directed the Union government to prepare a list of persons who can be allowed to travel to Yemen, Manorama reported.

Subhash Chandran K.R., the advocate appearing for Premakumari, said: “The advocate of the government said that the option left is to make a mercy petition to president of Yemen. But we are yet to check its legality. We are unaware of such an option; the only option we know is offering the ‘blood money’.”

The advocate added that the Central government’s position is not favourable to facilitate a group travelling to Yemen to negotiate the blood money.

“The court said within two days, we need to submit the details of all persons who want to go as part of the team to Yemen, and within a week the Union government has to take a decision on the same,” he added.

“We have given this list long back. But the government's stance is that they have not received it. So, we will once again provide the list.”

Background of the case

A native of Kerala's Palakkad, Nimisha was found guilty of murdering Talal Abdo Mahdi in 2017, chopping his body into pieces, and disposing them in a water tank. A trial court in Yemen had awarded her death sentence in 2018. Nimisha later submitted a plea stating that she did no receive proper legal aid and that she was physically abused by Talal.

Nimisha is a nurse who was working in Yemen. In 2014, she had sought Talal's help to set up a clinic in Yemen. She approached Talal because according to the country's rules, they needed the help of a Yemeni national to process the license to start a business. He was an acquaintance of Nimisha and her husband Tony who was also working in Yemen at that time. However, Tony had to return to Kerala with their child in 2014 as it was difficult to manage finances.

In 2015, Nimisha started the clinic. But she did not take Talal's help for the license. A man named Abdul Lateer, in whose clinic she was working then, helped with the license and invested money in the clinic for 33 per cent share, the News Minute reported.

Things went downhill after she started earning revenue from the clinic. Talal started interfering and demanded a share of the income. He forged fake marriage documents and told everyone Nimisha was his wife. He started threatening her and physically tortured her. Nimisha has alleged he was a substance abuser. She complained to the police and he was arrested, but let off later. The situation worsened in 2016 and Talal got hold of her passport.

In July 2017, Nimisha injected him with sedatives in order to retrieve her passport. He died within a few minutes due to drug overdose. Nimisha sought the help of Hanan, a nurse who had worked with her. They chopped his body and disposed of it in the water tank, according to reports. Both Hanan and Nimisha were arrested in August 2017. Hanan was sentenced to life imprisonment. 

- with inputs from Nirmal Jovial


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