April 24, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India (April 24, 2013): It is learnt that the Delhi Health department has constituted a three-member medical board under a professor of psychiatry from AIIMS to look into the mental fitness of Sikh political prisoner Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, who as been on death row in India since 2001. Prof. Bhullar’s execution was cleared by the Supreme Court of India on April 12, 2013.
As per certain media reports the board does not include any member from the Institute for Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), where Prof. DPS Bhullar is admitted since December 2010.
“Health department sources confirmed that the board, headed by Dr S K Khandelwal from AIIMS, includes one psychiatrist each from Maulana Azad Medical College and GB Pant Hospital”, Express Newsline (EN) has reported.
As per IE “[s]ources said the order, issued by Delhi government, does not specify any date by which time Bhullar’s examination should be completed or the number of times the members can examine him”.
A senior government official reportedly said: “While no formal deadline has been communicated in the order, we expect the procedure of examination to be completed within two to three weeks. We have to give the doctors time to fully examine the patient before reaching a decision on his mental fitness”.
According to the Express Newsline (EN) the IHBAS, even in its last report to the jail sent on March 2, maintained that Bhullar has been diagnosed as “severe depressive with psychotic symptoms”, and is “not showing any improvement and in the recent past has shown worsening in psychiatric condition”.
Jail sources had questioned Bhullar’s prolonged admission in the hospital.
As per information the jail had requested that the board include members from “different hospitals”, in their formal request for a medical board, after the SCI upheld the death sentence awarded to Prof. Bhullar.
According EN: [t]he letter signed by Tihar’s Deputy Inspector General of Prisons to the Principal Secretary of the Home department stated: “It would be in the fitness of things if the matter is taken up with the Health department for constituting a medical board comprising doctors/specialists from different hospitals of Delhi government to give a report about the status of his (Bhullar’s) mental illness so that further action can be taken as per the provisions of Delhi Jail Manual.”
“In a response to the Delhi government, IHBAS said an “independent and and external medical board may be the most appropriate and desirable option”.”, EN report reads further.
It is notable that Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, former teacher of Mechanical Engineering at Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana was one of the brilliant brains of the Sikh militant movement who led the movement at intellectual as well as organizational levels.
He was sentenced to death solely on a fractured confessional statement that was found not admissible in evidence by Supreme Court bench’s Presiding judge Justice M. B. Shah in his minority judgement.
His death sentence was confirmed by Supreme of India in a split judgement.
Legally his case had strong merits, and even the public prosecutor who pleaded against Prof. Bhullar in Supreme Court of India said that it was “most inappropriate” and “judicial error” for SCI to confirm the death sentence of Prof. Bhullar.
But still Indian state seems committed to execute Prof. DPS Bhullar for political reasons. Sikh circles are terming his suspected execution as political execution.
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