New Delhi: Delhi government has pleaded with the Supreme Court to commute death sentence of Khalistani terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar to life imprisonment on the ground of his mental illness.
In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the government referred to the opinion of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor in which he had favoured commutation of the death sentence.
“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 Governor had said.
The affidavit was filed in compliance with the order of the apex court which has issued a notice to it on Navneet Kaur’s plea for commutation on January 31 while staying his execution.
The apex court had also directed the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), where Bhullar is being treated, to file a medical report within a week on the condition of the death convict who is alleged to be suffering from a mental illness.
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 government in deciding mercy plea of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence.
Bhullar’s wife has filed the petition for relook against the apex court verdict which rejected her plea to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment on grounds of delay on the part of the government in deciding his mercy plea.
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 the then Youth Congress president M S Bitta.