INDIA: SC COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE OF BHULLAR TO LIFE TERM
|Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar
March 31, 2014: The Supreme Court four-judge bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam commuted the death sentence of 1993 Delhi bomb blast case convict and Khalistani terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar to life term on the ground of delay in deciding his mercy plea and his medical condition.
The bench, also comprising justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya, passed the order on a curative petition filed by Bhullar's wife Navneet Kaur.
She pleaded before the court to relook into its verdict, in which Bhullar's plea for commuting the sentence was rejected, in view of its recent judgement where it was held that delay in deciding mercy plea can be a ground for commutation of death penalty.
Bhullar was convicted and awarded death penalty for triggering a bomb blast in New Delhi in September 1993, which killed nine persons and injured 25 others, including then Youth Congress president M S Bitta.
In the landmark judgement, the court had held that prolonging execution of death sentence has a "dehumanising effect" on condemned prisoners who have to face the "agony" of waiting for years under the shadow of death during the pendency of their mercy plea. (Sources: news.outlookindia.com, 31/03/2014)