Bhullar’s wife moves SC on presidential order

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Old 10-Jul-2011
Bhullar’s wife moves SC on presidential order

New Delhi July 10:

Devender Pal Singh Bhullar’s wife has moved the Supreme Court, seeking quashing of the recent Presidential order rejecting his mercy petition. Bhullar has been sentenced to death for the 1993 bomb attack on the then Youth Congress leader MS Bitta.

In a PIL, filed jointly with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Navneet Kaur has pleaded for sparing her husband’s life on 50 grounds. The primary ground is the fact that Bhullar “has become mentally retarded on account of more than 5,700 days of delay in deciding the mercy petition” and his consequent solitary confinement in Tihar Jail.

The “execution of a mentally retarded prisoner is considered to be cruel and inhuman and should be prohibited under Article 21 (fundamental right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution,” the PIL said. Navneet Kaur moved a separate petition seeking a stay on the May 25, 2001 Presidential orders, rejecting the mercy plea of Bhullar. The petitions have been listed for hearing on Monday by a Bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi.

The government had itself admitted that Bhullar was admitted to the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) near Delhi, the petition said. Further, his was the first case in the country in which death sentence had been awarded despite a split verdict by the SC. Also, the Law Commission had in its 187th report in October 2003 recommended that death sentences should be given only by a five-member Constitution Bench.

She said her husband’s mental condition had continued to deteriorate since his conviction in 2003. The petition further said that “waiting for the sentence to be executed results in inhuman suffering and great mental torture which is in clear breach of the fundamental rights ordained under Articles 14, 19 and 21 which contemplate a fair and expeditious procedure at all stages.”

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