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India: Pleas made on Prof. Bhullar’s behalf are under consideration: Home Minister

May 16, 2013 | By

New Delhi, India (May 16, 2013): It is learnt that on May 15, 2013 India’s Minister of Home Affairs Sushil Kumar Shinde told reporters in New Delhi that fresh clemency pleas moved on behalf of Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar by various persons and organizations were under consideration with Government of India.

After the Supreme Court of India (SCI) cleared execution of Prof. Bhullar on April 12, 2013; various clemency pleas were made before the President of India under Article 72 of the Constitution of India.

Those who have moved these pleas include Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), Press Council of India chairman Justice (retd.) Markandey Katju and Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal.

It is notable that previously these pleas were made on behalf of Prof. Bhullar in 2003 after the Supreme Court of India (SCI) upheld the death sentence awarded by trial court in a split decision. In 2011 the President of India had cleared the execution of Prof. Bhullar.

According to Justice (retd.) Markandey Katju there is no bar on President of India to consider a clemency plea twice under Article 72.

According to NDTV: “[o]n demands for commuting death sentence of convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, Mr Shinde said he had received number of representation from people. ‘We are looking into it,’ he said”.

As no executive or judicial stay has been installed on execution of death sentence in Prof. Bhullar’s case, there are apprehensions that Indian state could executive Prof. Bhullar in a secret manner.

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