New Delhi: The Centre today assured the Supreme Court that death sentence of Khalistani terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar will not be executed till it takes a decision on a fresh mercy plea on medical grounds. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam asked the Centre to take a decision on the mercy plea quickly as “delay of every day is a torture for the convict”.
It granted two weeks time to the Centre to take a decision and posted the case for hearing on March 10. Attorney General G E Vahanvati informed the court about the report sent by Delhi's Lieutenant Governor in which he had not favoured execution of Bhullar's death sentence. The court was hearing a curative petition filed by Bhullar's wife Navneet Kaur seeking commutation of death sentence.
The LG, in his report sent to the Centre, said, “On principles of human ethics and natural justice, I cannot bring myself to recommend the rejection of the mercy petition of Navneet Kaur (wife of Bhullar) and my comments may kindly be forwarded to the President of India for the final disposal in the matter.”
The apex court had on January 31 stayed his execution. The plea of Bhullar's wife for commutation of death sentence assumes significance in view of the apex court's January 21 verdict holding that inordinate and inexplicable delay by the government in deciding mercy plea of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence.
Bhullar's wife has filed the petition seeking a relook at the apex court verdict which rejected her plea to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment on grounds his mental condition and because of delay on the part of the government in deciding his earlier mercy plea.
She submitted that her husband is not mentally fit and he is being treated by Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS).