January 28, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India (January 28, 2014): It is learnt that the Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear in an open court the petition of Sikh political prisoner Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar for commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment.
A bench comprising Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and justices R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu and S.J. Mukhopadhaya took up the matter on January 28, 2014 and decided to hear the curative petition filed by Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar’s wife Nevneet Kaur.
The hearing in the open court assumes importance in view of the January 21, 2014 judgment of five-judge Constitutional bench holding that inordinate and inexplicable delay by government in deciding constitutional review petitions of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence.
Prof. DPS Bhullar’s wife filed the petition for relook against the Supreme court verdict which rejected her plea to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment on grounds of delay on the part of the government in deciding his constitutional review petition by the President of India.
Prof. Bhullar had been facing death sentence in India since 2001. He is imprisoned since 1994. Indian courts had convicted him in a 1993 bomb blast related case on the cases of fractured evidence. His death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme court of India in 2002 in a split decision – with presiding judge of three judges bench acquitting Prof. Bhullar while two others affirming his death sentence.
President of India has took more than eight years to decide his review petition. According to recent Supreme court ruling delay in execution caused by delay in deciding review petitions by the President of India is a valid ground to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment.
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