Malé, Maldives – Maldives Supreme Court has increased the amount to be taken for blood money (Diya) from MVR 100,000 to MVR 1 million.
In the new Criminal Procedure Code published by the Supreme Court yesterday, the court had increased the compensation amount for blood money for the first time since it was first set in 1995.
According to the guideline released by Supreme Court, blood money can only be taken if someone commits murder as defined under Article 92 (e) of the Penal Code of the Maldives. The procedure also states that judges must follow the guidelines set under Article 1204 and 1205 in the Penal Code while ruling in murder cases.
It also states that the higher courts must recheck the legal elements of the case and the trial process if someone gets a death sentence. In addition to this, the guideline also states that if the death sentence does not get appealed by the defendant at Maldives High Court during the appeal period that the Prosecutor General must file an appeal with the High Court to finalize the verdict at the earliest.
In addition to this, the new Criminal Procedure Code also mandates that the heirs of the victims will have the right to go ahead with qisas (retaliation in kind) or not. The heirs of the victim also need to be verified by the court in which the trial goes on in and their statements are to be taken after the hearings are over and during the discussion of the punishment.
The death sentence can be carried out if the all the heirs of the victim over the age of 15 agree to the punishment according to the new guideline and even if one of the heirs does not support to give capital punishment, it cannot be carried out. In such a case, the punishment for the defendant would be a jail sentence as per the Penal Code.
In cases of murder where capital punishment could not be given, the court is to sentence the defendant to pay kaffarah (expiation of sin), in this case 60 days of continuous fasting as per Shariah Laws.