Devendra Pal Singh Bhullar
Published: March 28, 2014
Devendra Pal Singh Bhullar, The Centre on Thursday supported the plea of 1993 Delhi blast terror convict, Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, seeking commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment and told the Supreme Court that they should allow his plea.
Appearing before the bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, Attorney General G E Vahanvati submitted that this case has to be allowed by the court and no argument is required in this matter.
After the senior most law officer’s submission, the bench reserved its order for next week.
In January, the apex court had stayed the execution of Bhullar on his wife’s curative petition, filed in Spetember 2013, for her husband on the grounds of his mental condition as well as delay in disposing of his mercy plea by government.
Bhullar’s counsel had told the court that the April 12, 2012 judgment of declining to commute Bhullar’s death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground that he was convicted under the terror law has become per incuriem in the light of three judges’ verdict.
The three-judge bench had in a similar batch of matters ruled that delay in deciding the mercy petition by the president and mental illness of the death row convict were grounds for commuting death sentence to life imprisonment.
The court had also held that insanity/mental illness/schizophrenia could be the grounds for seeking commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment.
In the case of Bhullar, it was contended that not only was there a delay in deciding his mercy petition but he was also mentally ill and undergoing treatment in a mental hospital.
Bhullar was given capital punishment for the September 11, 1993 blast at the Youth Congress (YC) office on Raisina Road, New Delhi, a stone’s throw from Parliament House, which left nine dead. The attack was targeted against then YC leader Maninderjeet Singh Bitta.