November 12, 2009 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Patiala (November 11, 2009): The Sikh Students Federation today conducted a signature campaign to seek clemency for Prof Devinderpal Singh Bhullar and five other cases of death penalty. Bhullar has been in Tihar Jail, Delhi, for the past 14 years and his petition before the President of India, under Article 72 of the Constitution, has been under consideration for the past seven years.
“There are two petitions regarding which a signature campaign is being conducted. One is for Prof Bhullar and other is a joint petition for Dharmpal, Piara Singh, Sarabjeet Singh Satnam Singh and Gurdev Singh” said Parmjeet Singh Gazi, president of the SSF.
The certain prima facie defects in the judgment, confirming his death sentence, form the basis for seeking clemency for Prof Bhullar are “Justice M.B. Shah, heading the three-judge bench in the Supreme Court of India, has acquitted Devinder Pal Singh, while other two judges have confirmed the death sentence,” says the petition, while building up a logic that the death sentence should not be granted in case of a split decision.
Bhullar was convicted on the basis of an alleged confessional statement that was given while he was in the police custody and was not produced before magistrate for verification as was required under TADA. Moreover, Justice Shah had labelled it a “tailor-made confession” and he rejected it. Around 133 prosecution witnesses failed to corroborate with the alleged confession and even to identify Bhullar. There are other such logics too in the petition.
The basis for seeking clemency for other persons are their delayed execution, prolonged confinement, physical, mental and social conditions of the convicts and their family.
“This signature campaign is being conducted the world-over and the petition for signatures is also available online at Gopetition.com. We are getting good response from students and the SSF will conduct this campaign in other institutions of higher education too and all signatures be sent to the office of the President of India,” said Baljeet Singh, secretary of the SSF.
The campaign in Punjabi University is being conducted by Jarman Singh, Kamaljeet Singh, Avi Goel, Jagrup Singh and others under the supervision of SSF unit president Dalbir Singh.
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