The Delhi government has urged the Supreme Court to commute 1993 Delhi blast convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar’s death sentence to life imprisonment in view of his mental illness.
Referring to the apex court’s January verdict, the Aam Aadmi Party government said in its affidavit: “Bhullar is suffering from mental illness and as per the Supreme Court’s January verdict, his death sentence should be commuted to life.” The affidavit also attached Bhullar’s medical report.
The court had sought the Delhi government’s opinion on a petition filed by Bhullar’s wife, demanding commutation of punishment owing to his mental illness.
In a ruling last month, the Supreme Court had commuted the death sentences of 15 convicts aftnd found that “inordinate and inexplicable” delays in carrying out an execution are grounds for reducing the penalty.
The judges who handed out the verdict also said that mental illness such as schizophrenia and the use of solitary confinement could make a convict eligible for a reduced sentence.
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Bhullar was convicted of triggering a bomb blast in Delhi in 1993 and killing nine people. He applied to the President for clemency in January 2003; his request was rejected eight years later. Last year, a Supreme Court bench also rejected his plea for mercy, after which he filed another petition for a review.