The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), led by its Chairman Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, on Wednesday “strongly recommended” that close relatives of death-row convict Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, undergoing treatment for mental illness, be given an opportunity to meet him.
The recommendation was sent to the Union Home Ministry, informed sources said.
Bhullar’s wife Navneet Kaur and some others went to the NHRC as a delegation and made the plea. They also sought its intervention to commute the death sentence, upheld again recently by the Supreme Court, into life sentence.
Shiromani Akali Dal’s (Badal) Delhi unit president Manjeet Singh and general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa joined her in the meeting.
In the petition, SAD (Badal) said the court’s rejection of the plea to commute the death sentence was painful and unfortunate. The death sentence should not be carried out on the grounds of the health of Bhullar. The SAD (Badal) had resolved that rushing to carry out the capital punishment “in defiance of this basic humanitarian and legal consideration will send a wrong signal to people.”
The court, while upholding the death sentence, had observed that long delay by the President or the Governor in disposing of mercy petitions of persons convicted under anti-terror laws or similar statutes could not be a ground for commutation of the death sentence.