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Prof. Bhullar’s Case : Germany had appealed to India “to ensure that death penalty was not carried out”

April 15, 2013 | By

New Delhi, India (April 15, 2013): According to certain media reports, in a top level contact with India, the German government had informed it would not have deported death row convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar from Frankfurt in 1995, had it known that he would be punished with the death penalty.

Following the rejection of Bhullar’s Presidential review petition by the then President Pratibha Patil in May 2011, the President of Germany wrote to her, expressing regret at Berlin’s decision to have sent him back home, according to official documents released under the Right to Information Act by the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Germany had appealed to Patil “to ensure that death penalty was not carried out”, and the name of its President figures in the list of those who had filed mercy petitions on Bhullar’s behalf, seeking reprieve from the gallows.

“The German President stated that they deported Bhullar since they were unaware that he might face execution/death penalty in India contrary to German legal positions and practice,” states the official file noting provided to RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal.

“The German president has written that his country together with European Union advocates worldwide abolition of the death penalty. Under German law, no one could be extradited or deported from Germany who might face death penalty in his own country,” the document states.

Prof. Bhullar whose father, uncle and friend were killed in custody during enforced disappearance by Punjab police had left India as he was fearing threats to his life but he was arrested at Frankfurt airport in 1995 on charges of traveling on a fake passport and was deported back to India. A local Frankfurt court had declared his deportation illegal in 1997.

Germany and EU have raised many questions over Prof. Bhullar’s verdict citing substantial and procedural legal flaws.

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