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Prof. DPS Bhullar’s death penalty may hit deportations from Europe

June 2, 2011 | By

Chandigarh (May 02, 2011): Rejection of the consitutional review petition by President Pratibha Patil against death penalty for Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar in a 1993 blast case in Delhi just ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel`s India visit may affect deportation of the others, who are termed as “most wanted” by India, from Europe.

Prof. Bhullar was deported from Germany in 1995 without the country going through repatriation process despite a section of Sikhs bringing to the notice of the German authorities that there could be danger to the life of Bhullar in India. Bhuller was detained at the airport and sent back after five days of legal proceedings.

Germany is a signatory to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and UN Convention Against Torture necessitating all European countries to repatriate a wanted person only after getting an assurance against death penalty by the country that takes custody of a suspect in a crime. Difference of opinion between Europeans and Indian establishment comes at a time when there is pressure in India to get back black money from Europe, which may now not be happy with the post-deportation record of India.

Sources told TOI over phone from Germany that “Though it is a political question to be addressed by authorities, we understand German society won`t want anybody repatriated or deported from the country to be hanged.”

Harpal Singh Cheema, a SAD (Panch Pardhani) leader, said, “Death penalty to Bhullar will reduce India`s credibility before the international community in cases of deportation that are fast and easier. India will now have to seek repatriation in most of the cases for getting custody of a wanted person.”

Cheema was himself sent back from the US after nine years of incarceration in American jails when they refused him freedom as he was considered a threat to peace. Cheema, ultimately, himself chose to face the Indian law and was acquitted in all cases.

Cheema said even repatriation will be difficult now considering India`s record on commitments. Even a gangster like Abu Salem was brought from Portugal after India gave an assurance against death penalty to him.

Cheema revealed that Sikhs fighting for Bhullar`s clemency in Germany were reportedly told by Germans that they repent deporting Bhullar without a repatriation process and assurance from India against death penalty.

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