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The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the review plea of a death convict against his conviction and sentence be heard in an open court by at least a three-judge bench and allowed all condemned prisoners, whose review pleas have already been decided, to approach it within a month for re-opening of their cases.

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.

Earlier, in most cases, review petitions were decided in judges’ chambers and the parties were not allowed to be present.

 While four judges including Chief Justice R M 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.


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