The Centre on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that it would communicate to President Pranab Mukherjee its decision in two weeks on the fresh mercy petition of Navneet Kaur, wife of Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, seeking commutation of his death sentence into life term on medical grounds.
Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati made the submission before a Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu and S.J. Mukhopadhaya at the hearing of a curative petition from Ms. Kaur.
In her petition, she cited the court’s January 21 judgment that held inordinate delay in disposal of mercy petitions by the government could be a ground for commutation of the death sentence and granted life term to 15 condemned prisoners, including four aides of the forest brigand Veerappan.Mr. Vahanvati said a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court upheld Bhullar’s death penalty on April 12, 2013, and the very next day, his wife sent a mercy petition to the President. This fact was not disclosed in the curative petition. In his present medical condition, he said, Bhullar could not be executed. Without going into the technicalities of the curative petition, the matter should be left to the President to decide on the mercy petition rather than the court deciding it on merits.