Press Esc to close
Wednesday 01 October 2014
News updated at 9:19 AM IST
Weather
Max: 29.3°C
Min : 21.4°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Bhullar case may have bearing on Rajiv killers

CHENNAI, April 12, 2013, DHNS:

Legal puzzle: ‘Executive delays’ not sufficient reason for commuting death penalty

Devinder Singh Bhullar

The Supreme Court decision on Friday rejecting the plea of Devinder Singh Bhullar’s family to commute his death sentence to life on grounds of inordinate delay in deciding his mercy petition earlier, has ‘shocked’ political parties in Tamil Nadu campaigning for the commuting the death penalty on three accused in the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case – Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan – to life on similar grounds.

While Bhullar was awarded the capital punishment for the September 1993 bomb blast in New Delhi that killed nine people, the fate of the three death convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi case, lodged in Vellore Central prison, has now become all the more precarious following the apex court’s judgment in the Bhullar case that ‘executive delays’ was not sufficient reason for commuting a death penalty.

After the President rejected the mercy petitions of the three death convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi case, their execution was initially scheduled on September 9, 2011. But it was then stayed by the Madras High Court on their plea that the President had taken an unduly long time to decide on their mercy petitions. That prayer is yet to be decided by the Supreme Court.

However, Friday’s judgment has rung an alarm bell for Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, besides for four associates of slain forest brigand Veerappan condemned to death in the Palar Blasts case and lodged in Belgaum Central Jail in Karnataka. The line of reasoning applied to reject Bhullar’s family’s latest plea by the apex court could well impinge on these cases too, besides to three others from Tamil Nadu sentenced to death for the ‘Dharmapuri bus burning case.’


Expressing serious apprehensions on the impact of the Bhullar case verdict on these cases, PMK founder-president S Ramadoss said in a statement here that the only state remedy now to “save the lives of three Tamils convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, namely Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, was for the Tamil Nadu Cabinet to use its powers under Article 161 of the Constitution, to pass a resolution immediately urging the state Governor to revoke on the death sentence on the above three death convicts.”
Ramadoss said the state Cabinet had the power to pass such a resolution, similar to the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly in August 2011, in a bid to stay the execution of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan. Moreover, about 125 countries in the world had abolished the death penalty, he pointed out. Similar appeals to the state government were made by the Dalit Panthers leader Thol Thirumavalavan, and some other pro-Tamil outfits.

Justice K T Thomas, retired judge of the Supreme Court, had in February urged that the death penalty handed down to the three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi case should be ‘reviewed,’ even as several political leaders including DMK President M Karunanidhi and human rights and civil society groups have been pressing for the abolition of the death penalty from the statute book. Leader of the MDMK Vaiko has been for long in the forefront of legal and political efforts to get the three accused in the Rajiv Gandhi case released from the Vellore jail.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Players of Kerala Blaster football team pose for a group photo with Kathakali Dancers in Thrissur ..

Players of Kerala Blaster football team pose for a group photo with Kathakali Dancers in Thrissur ..

Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, at the dinner hosted in his honour, at the White House ...

Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, at the dinner hosted in his honour, at the White House ...

Actors Vikram and Karthi participating in a fast to protest Jayalalithaa's conviction ...

Actors Vikram and Karthi participating in a fast to protest Jayalalithaa's conviction ...

Lahore Lions skipper Muhammad Hafeez is bowled during the Champions League Twenty 20 ...

Lahore Lions skipper Muhammad Hafeez is bowled during the Champions League Twenty 20 ...

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi provides relief packages to a flood victim in Jammu ...

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi provides relief packages to a flood victim in Jammu ...

Modi waves to supporters  in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington ...

Modi waves to supporters in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington ...

People enjoy a sheep fight in Hubli, Karnataka ...

People enjoy a sheep fight in Hubli, Karnataka ...

Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi interacts with flood victims at a relief camp at Boko ...

Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi interacts with flood victims at a relief camp at Boko ...

Products made out of waste materials by the students of a college in Rohtak ...

Products made out of waste materials by the students of a college in Rohtak ...

India's Sunil Vitalacharya Sowmarpet and Akashdeep Singh celebrate their victory over South Korea ..

India's Sunil Vitalacharya Sowmarpet and Akashdeep Singh celebrate their victory over South Korea ..

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523