Apex court stays Bhullar's execution

Apex court stays Bhullar's execution

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a stay on the execution of death row convict D P S Bhullar and sought a report on his mental illness from a hospital here.

A four-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice P Sathasivam issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi government on a curative petition filed by Bhullar’s wife Navneet Kaur.

Kaur had urged the apex court to reconsider its verdict rejecting Bhullar’s plea for commutation of death sentence to life term on grounds of a delay in disposal of his mercy petition by the President and his mental illness.

Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, representing Kaur, referred to the apex court’s January 21 verdict, when it commuted death sentence to 15 convicts citing an inordinate delay in deciding their plea for clemency. Admitting the curative petition, the bench, also comprising justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya, said they wanted to examine the issue and ascertain whether the judgment would be applicable to the instant case.

The bench asked the director of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, where Bhullar is admitted, to send a report on his health in a week. The court fixed the matter for further hearing on February 19.

Bhullar’s plea was earlier rejected by the apex court on August 14 last year on the ground of the grave terror charges he faced. He was held guilty and sent to the gallows by a TADA court for carrying out an explosion on a car cavalcade of erstwhile Youth Congress president Maninderjit Singh Bitta.

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