August 15, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India (August 15, 2013): It is learnt that on August 14, 2013 the Supreme Court of India dismissed a review petition seeking of SCI’s verdict refusing to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of delay in deciding his mercy plea by the government.
As per media reports a bench headed by Justice G. S. Singhvi refused to review its April 12, 2013 verdict by which it had rejected his plea for commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment.
It is notable that a TADA court had convicted Sikh political prisoner Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar in a 1993 blast case in a highly controversial and contested manner in 2001. The Supreme court of India judges were split over the guilt of Prof. Bhullar. Justice M. B. Shah, the presiding judge of the three judges bench of SCI acquitted Prof. Bhullar while noting the absence of incriminating evidence against Prof. Bhullar. But the other two judge of SCI bench had upheld his conviction and death sentence in March 2002. His review petition was dismissed in December 2002 and curative petition was dismissed in 2003. His petition under Article 72 remained pending before President of India from 2003 to 2011. In 2011 Prof. Bhullar’s wife approached the SCI seeking commutation of death sentence on the ground of inordinate delay in execution. When the SCI issued notice to Government of India asking it to explain the delay in deciding the petition, the government of India rejected the petition and informed SCI in this regard.
April 2013 the SCI rejected the clemency plea in this case but after few weeks a similar plea of another death row convict M. N. Das was entertained and his death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment.
Prof. Bhullar’s wife had filed a review of April 2013 decision of the SCI that was rejected on August 14, 2013.
Bhai Mandhir Singh of Akali Dal Panch Pardhani has commented that the SCI verdict has reaffirmed that Sikhs are slaves in India. He said Prof. DPS Bhullar’s case is political in nature and in this case India is commuting a political murder under the grab of judicial decisions.
Current status of the case is that Prof. Bhullar is in mental asylum since 2010. A medical board set up by Delhi government to examine his health, had affirmed that Prof. Bhullar was suffering from severe depression. In wake of this report his execution was temporarily suspended by Lt. Governor of Delhi, who had referred the matter to the Ministry of Home Affairs (Government of India). Now the matter is pending with MHA, GOI.
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