July 11, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi (July 11, 2011): The Supreme Court of India, Monday, issued notice to Centre and Delhi Government on a writ petition filed by the wife of Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, whose death sentence execution was cleared by President of India on 26 May, 2011.
Prof. Bhullar’s wife Navneet Kaur has sought the quashing of the rejection order, stay of execution and a direction to commute the death sentence.
The Court has demanded both Centre and Delhi government’s opinion on the case of Bhullar’s plea of commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment. The move has automatically put a stay on death sentence given to Bhullar till the apex judicial tribunal of the country announces its decision.
In her writ petition Navneet Kaur has challenged the presidential rejection of the review petition filed u/article 72 of the Indian Consitution to commute the death sentence awarded to her husband to life imprisonment.
Navneet Kaur contended that execution of a mentally suffering prisoner was violative of Article 21 of the Constitution.
She said Home Minister P. Chidambaram, on a number of occasions had told reporters that review pleas of convicts were being taken up for consideration in the serial order in which they appeared on the list.
“Surprisingly, the case of my husband, which is shown to have been submitted to the President, was suddenly taken up within two days of the Supreme Court on May 23 issuing notice to the government on the writ petition questioning inordinate delay in disposal of the petition. It is clear that this case has been taken out of turn and chosen on arbitrary basis and perhaps as a measure of punishment for approaching the Supreme Court.”
The petitioner said: “picking up the case of my husband out of turn is clearly arbitrary and violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution as the case of another convit has remained pending with the President since June 21, 2005. There is, thus, no rational explanation as to why and on what provocation the President has decided the review petition under Article 72 of the Constitution. It is apparent that the rejection of the petition suffers from non-application of mind.”
Ms. Kaur noted that prolonged delay in the disposal of the consitutional review petition had resulted in a dehumanising act and had the constitutional implication of depriving a person of his life, in an unjust, unfair and unreasonable way, violating Article 21 of the Constitution.
She said: “My husband has suffered mental torture on account of more than 5,700 days of delay in deciding the mercy petition, which has inflicted such inhuman penalty and torture on his mind that he has become mentally retarded. His condition has continued to deteriorate in post-conviction period since the year 2003.
Ms. Kaur sought the quashing of the rejection order, stay of execution and a direction to commutation of the death sentence.
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