The Supreme Court will on Friday deliver its much-awaited verdict on whether death sentence of a prisoner should be commuted to life term because of inordinate delay in executing him or her.
The Bench had reserved its order on April 19 last year on a petition by the family of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar.
The verdict is likely to have a bearing on several others pleas,including those of convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assasination case and four aides of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan,and also the eight convicts whose mercy pleas had been rejected last week,since most of these had been on the death row for years together,awaiting decisions of their mercy petitions.
Bhullar was awarded death penalty for triggering a bomb blast in September,1993,here killing nine people.
The Supreme Court had on March 26,2002,dismissed Bhullar’s appeal against the death sentence awarded by trial court and endorsed by the Delhi High Court.
He had filed a review petition which was also dismissed on December 17,2002. Bhullar had then moved a curative petition,which too had been rejected by the apex court on March 12,2003. Bhullar,meanwhile,had filed a mercy petition before the President on January 14,2003. The President,after a lapse of over eight years,dismissed his mercy plea on May 25 last year.