Bhullar will not be executed, Centre tells Supreme Court
NEW DELHI : The Centre today told the Supreme Court that 1993 Delhi blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar won’t be executed because of his health. A mercy petition filed by the convict’s wife is being considered, the Centre said, and the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has also recommended commutation of his sentence
The court will hear the case next on 10 March. The Centre asked for two weeks to inform the court on its decision on the mercy plea.
Criticising the delay, the court said, “The Lieutenant Governor had sent his recommendations on 6 January, but no decision was taken by the Centre. In a case like this the Centre should have taken a decision without delay. This is really torture”Two weeks ago, the Delhi government had asked for Bhullar’s death sentence to be commuted to life citing his mental illness.
Last month, the Supreme Court had commuted the death sentences of 15 convicts and found that “inordinate and inexplicable” delays in carrying out an execution are grounds for reducing the penalty.The judges who handed out the verdict also said that mental illness such as schizophrenia and the use of solitary confinement could make a convict eligible for a reduced sentence.
Bhullar was convicted of triggering a bomb blast in Delhi in 1993 and killing nine people. He applied to the President for clemency in January 2003; his request was rejected eight years later. Last year, a Supreme Court bench also rejected his plea for mercy, after which he filed another petition for a review.His family had said that he should not be hanged because he is mentally unwell.