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Supreme Court stays execution of Bhullar

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

The bench also comprising justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya directed the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), where Bhullar is being treated, to file a medical report within a week on the condition of the death convict who is alleged to be suffering from a mental illness.

‘We would examine whether our judgement (pertaining to commutation of death sentence to life term on the ground of delay in deciding the mercy plea) is applicable or not in this case,’ the bench said, adding ‘we also want to know his present condition’. ‘We direct Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences to send to us a report on condition of Devinderpal Singh Bhullar within a week,’ the bench said.

The plea of Bhullar’s wife for commutation of death sentence assumes significance in view of the apex court’s 21 January verdict holding that inordinate and inexplicable delay by government in deciding mercy plea of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence
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