Delhi govt refers decision on Bhullar to Home Ministry

The Delhi Government has decided to refer to the Union Home Ministry a decision on the execution of death row convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar following a medical board report that he is under severe mental depression.

The medical board, set up by Delhi Government to examine his health, has reported back last month with the view that Bhullar was not mentally sound as he was suffering from severe depression. A Tihar jail official said as per jail manual, a death row convict cannot be executed if he is not physically and mentally fit.

Bhullar has been admitted to Institute for Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) here for over two years and doctors treating him said he was suffering from depression and has suicidal tendencies. Bhullar was given death penalty for triggering a bomb blast here in September 1993 that killed nine people and injured 25 others, including the then Youth Congress president M S Bitta. Sources in Delhi Government said the report of the medical board was sent to Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna earlier this month following which he referred it to Tihar Director-General Vimla Mehra.

“The medical board said Bhullar is not mentally fit. As per norms an unfit person cannot be hanged. It is a sensitive matter and so we have decided to seek opinion of the Home Ministry,” the sources said.

They said Khanna was of the opinion that laid down norms must be followed in the case.

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