New Delhi: In a major relief to Khalistani terrorist Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, convicted in 1993 Delhi bomb blast case, the Supreme Court today commuted his death sentence to life term, saying there was “inordinate delay” of eight years in deciding his mercy plea by the President and on the ground of his insanity.
A four-judge bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam granted life to 48-year-old Bhullar observing that the report of the medical board, constituted to ascertain his medical condition, clearly showed that he was suffering from “acute mental illness”.
“....We deem it fit to commute the death sentence imposed on Devender Pal Singh Bhullar into life imprisonment both on the ground of unexplained/inordinate delay of eight years in disposal of mercy petition and on the ground of insanity. To this extent, the curative petition stands allowed,” the bench, also comprising justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu and Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, said.
The apex court passed the judgement on a curative petition filed by Bhullar's wife Navneet Kaur in which she had urged the court to review its verdict, in which the convict's plea for commuting the sentence was rejected, in view of its recent judgement that delay in deciding mercy plea can be a ground for commutation of death penalty.