March 9, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ludhiana, Punjab (March 09, 2013): It is learnt that “Pehredar”, a Punjabi vernacular has started a “signature and resolutions campaign” against the death punishment awarded by an Indian court to Sikh political prisoner Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar.
“Individuals and organizations – including Panchayats and registered bodies are sending us resolutions and letters” a representative of Pehredar informed Sikh Siyasat News (SSN).
It is notable that Professor Bhullar was sentenced to death under TADA, a draconian law that was widely misused by Indian system. TADA was introduced in 1985 in wake of Sikh movement in Punjab and remained in operation till 1995, when it was allowed to lapse by the Indian state amidst outcries against it’s widespread and systematic abuse.
It is notable that Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar was tried and sentenced to death in Bitta Bomb blast (1993) case by a Delhi TADA court. Under TADA the High Courts were not eligible to hear appeals against the decision of TADA courts. The appeal in Professor DPS Bhullar’s was heard by a three judges bench of Supreme court of India.
It is further notable that Justice M. B. Shah the presiding judge of three judges bench of Supreme court of India had acquitted Professor Bhullar but other two judges – namely Justice Arijit Pasyat and Justice Aggarwal had confirmed the decision of TADA court.
It is notable that Professor Bhullar was convicted solely on the bases of a fractured confessional statement extracted through torture in Police custody. The statement was termed as tailor made confession and bundle of lies by by Justice M. B. Shah of the Supreme court.
In a recent document the Amnesty International, an international human rights body, had stated that Professor Bhullar did not get a fair trial.
Professor Bhullar has already spent 18 years in prison. His constitutional review petition was rejected by President of India in May 2011 after his wife moved to Supreme Court India complaining against undue delay caused by President of India while deciding Professor Bhullar’s review petition.
It is worth mentioning that Supreme Court India finished the final hearing on petition against death punishment for Professor Bhullar on April 20, 2012 and reserved it’s decision on the matter. The Supreme Court is yet to pronounce it’s reserved decision that could be pronounced anytime. s
It is believed that the signature campaigns, at this stage, may not be able to have any effect on the decision of Supreme court of India but at the same time these efforts are being viewed at as an effective tool of raising awareness among the masses and documenting the public opinion.
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