Pro-Bhullar petitions filed with President's office delay trial

The Supreme Court on Friday pointed out that ‘unending spate’ of petitions filed with the President’s office seeking mercy for Punjab terrorist D P S Bhullar was causing delay in deciding his case.

A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya noted that the Centre had received representations from the Greek Ambassador as President of the European Union Ambassador here conveying the EU’s strong conviction against the death sentence and pleading clemency for the petitioner and other communications from Jean Lamberti, member, European Parliament in Brussels, and various Sikh forums and organisations from Punjab and United Kingdom.

The apex court listed names of David Kilgour, Secretary of State (Asia Pacific), department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Congress of the United States Washington, Tony Baldry, MP, House of Commons, London, Ram Jethmalani, MP (Rajya Sabha) Justice A S Bains, former Judge and Convenor, Devinderpal Singh Bhullar Defence Committee, and Simranjit Singh Mann, MP, who had also written for the petitioner.

“It is true that there was considerable delay in disposal of the petition filed by the petitioner but, keeping in view the peculiar facts of the case, we are convinced that there is no valid ground to interfere with the ultimate decision taken by the President not to commute the sentence of death awarded to the petitioner into life imprisonment. We can take judicial notice of the fact that a substantial portion of the delay can well-nigh be attributed to the unending spate of the petitions on behalf of the petitioner by various persons to which reference has been made,” the Bench said.

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