Amnesty International (AI) has urged the Indian authorities not to execute the death sentence of Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, whose review petition has been rejected by the Supreme Court last week.
In a statement, AI said Bhullar was receiving treatment at a psychiatric facility, “and a medical board has reportedly stated that he is suffering from severe depression and shows symptoms of psychosis and suicidal tendencies. International standards on the use of the death penalty prohibit the use of capital punishment against people with mental disability.”
Bhullar was arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, and sentenced to death in August 2001 for his involvement in a bomb attack in New Delhi in 1993 that claimed nine lives. He was found guilty on the basis of a “confession” to the police, which he later retracted. In March 2002, the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence, though one of the three judges found him not guilty saying there was no evidence to convict him.
In May 2011, the President rejected Bhullar's mercy petition. This decision was challenged before the Supreme Court, including on grounds of an inordinate delay in considering his mercy petition. The Supreme Court rejected his plea on April 12 and the review petition was rejected on August 14.