In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Friday initiated a suo motu case to examine and institutionalise process involved in collection of data and information to decide award of sentence in death penalty cases. .A three-judge bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and PS Narasimha indicated that the top court would lay down guidelines to be followed by courts across India while considering cases involving award of death penalty. The Court sought the assistance of Attorney General for India (AG) KK Venugopal and also issued notice to the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). The bench noted that to deal with the issue of death sentences, the system needs to be institutionalised, a viewpoint with which the AG concurred. Justice Lalit remarked how litigation assistance is bare minimum for many death row convicts. The Court was hearing a plea by one Irfan@ Bhayu Mevati challenging the death penalty imposed on him by the trial court and confirmed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court.During the earlier hearing of that case, the Court had registered a case to examine how courts dealing with death sentence can procure a comprehensive analysis about the accused and the crime, especially the mitigating circumstances so that the concerned court can decide whether death sentence needs to be imposed or not.This was after an application was filed by anti-death penalty body, Project 39A of National Law University, Delhi seeking permission for a mitigation investigator to visit the appellant in prison and interview him for the purpose of collecting information for making arguments on his sentencing.When the case was taken up today, Amicus Curiae K Parameshwar submitted that there is a policy in Madhya Pradesh under which public prosecutors are given increment based on the number of sentences awarded in matters prosecuted by them. "Let this policy be placed on record. List on May 10, 2022," the Court directed. The Court also registered a separate suo motu case to consider the larger issue of institutionalising process to be followed in deciding award of death sentence.