Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court decision that the inordinate delay in disposing of mercy petitions of those facing death penalty, by the President, could lead to commutation of death penalty to life imprisonment.
The apex court on Tuesday disposed of a petition concerning around 15 people on death row.
Though a double bench of the apex court had earlier ruled out the possibility of commutation of death penalty to life imprisonment in case of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, the apex court on Tuesday said law and precedence in the earlier judgment in case of Bhullar was ignored.
Reacting to the move, Badal said it was a big relief for Bhullar.
Bhullar was sentenced to death by a trial court on August 25, 2001 for plotting terror attacks on Youth Congress leader Maninderjit Singh Bitta in 1993, in which nine people were killed. The President had rejected his mercy plea in May 2011. Last year, a Supreme Court bench also rejected his plea to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment on account of delay in deciding his mercy petition.
“The previous verdict of the apex court was a split one, we welcome the final decision,” said Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Manjit Singh GK, adding that Bhullar was mentally unstable and as per law couldn’t be given death penalty.