OK with Commuting Bhullar Term: Centre

The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it had no problem with the commutation of Khalistani terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s death sentence to life term, and that the petition in this regard had to be allowed in view of the court’s verdict that delay in deciding mercy pleas could be a ground for such relief.

Published: 28th March 2014 08:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2014 08:14 AM   |  A+A-

The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it had no problem with the commutation of Khalistani terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s death sentence to life term, and that the petition in this regard had to be allowed in view of the court’s verdict that delay in deciding mercy pleas could be a ground for such relief.

“This is a case which has to be allowed because the mercy petition of the convict was decided after a delay of eight years,” Attorney General G E Vahanvati told the Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, which said that a order would be pronounced on March 31.

The Attorney General also said he was making the submissions to this effect as the Centre’s petition challenging the January 21 judgment, which held that inordinate delay by the government in deciding the mercy plea of death row convicts could be a ground for commuting their sentence, was dismissed. He said there was no need to go into the merits of the curative petition filed by Bhullar’s wife Navneet Kaur. The Bench wanted to know about Bhullar’s health condition, and perused the February 8 medical report of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.

The Bench had on January 31 stayed Bhullar’s execution and agreed to review its judgment.

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