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Urgent action appeal by Amnesty International – Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar at risk of imminent execution

April 23, 2013 | By

Chandigarh/ Punjab (April 23, 2013): It is learnt that Amnesty International had issued an urgent action appeal in wake of April 12, 2013 decision of Supreme Court of India clearing the execution of Sikh political prisoner Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar.

The text of Urgent Action Appeal by Amnesty International reads as follows:

Date: 12 April, 2013


The Supreme Court of India rejected the commutation plea of Devender Pal Singh Bhullar on 12 April. This verdict could affect the cases of at least 17 more prisoners.

Devender Pal Singh Bhullar was sentenced to death in August 2001 for his involvement in a bomb attack in New Delhi in 1993 that killed nine people. He was arrested at the New Delhi Airport in January 1995 under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), a law that subsequently lapsed, and contained provisions incompatible with international fair trial standards.

Devender Pal Singh Bhullar had no access to a lawyer during his initial detention and trial. He was found guilty on the basis of an unsubstantiated “confession” that he made to the police. He later retracted his statement claiming it was made under police pressure. In March 2002, the Supreme Court upheld Bhullar’s death sentence, though one of the three judges on the bench had found him not guilty, saying there was no evidence to convict him. A review petition was dismissed by the same Supreme Court judges, again by a 2 to 1 majority, in December 2002. Bhullar has been receiving treatment at a psychiatric facility in New Delhi and in 2011 his lawyer requested that the Supreme Court consider his mental condition as grounds for commuting his death sentence.

The President of India rejected Devender Pal Singh Bhullar’s mercy petition in May 2011, eight years after the request was filed. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar challenged the President’s decision before the Supreme Court, seeking commutation of his death sentence on the grounds of inordinate delay in its consideration and challenging the constitutionality of his prolonged stay on death row. The Supreme Court rejected his plea on 12 April. This decision is likely to affect at least 17 more prisoners whose mercy petitions have been rejected by the President.

Please write immediately in Hindi, English or your own language:

Calling upon the Indian government to not execute Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, to remove him from death row immediately, and retry his case in proceedings that comply with international fair trial standards.

Urging them to immediately halt any further executions, commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment, and establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty;

Reminding the Indian authorities that the UN General Assembly has repeatedly called for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, and pointing out that India’s decision to resume executions has set the country against regional and global trends towards abolition of the death penalty.


Prime Minister of India

Dr. Manmohan Singh
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi 110001 India
Fax: +9111 2301 9545
Email: (via form)
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

President of India

Pranab Mukherjee
Rashtrapati Bhawan
New Delhi 110004 India
Fax: +9111 2301 7290; 2301 7824
Email: (via form)
Salutation: Dear President Mukherjee

And copies to:

Minister of Home Affairs

Sushil Kumar Shinde
104 North Block
Central Secretariat
New Delhi 110001 India
Fax: +9111 2309 4221
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Minister

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