The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to take a decision on Khalistani terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s fresh mercy plea by March 27 or else it will decide on the issue of commuting his death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of his mental condition.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam adjourned the case for hearing after the Centre contended that the mercy plea is still under consideration.
“If you inform us (about the decision taken) it is well and good or we will decide the case,” the bench told Attorney General G E Vahanvati.
It also said that there have been recent cases where the government has not been taking the advice of its law officers seriously and pointed out that last week one Additional Solicitor General sent a detailed letter to Centre but it was rejected outright.
The bench, however, said that it cannot reveal the details of it.
The court was hearing a curative petition filed by Bhullar’s wife Navneet Kaur seeking commuting of death sentence owing to his mental condition and because of delay on the part of the government in deciding his earlier mercy plea.
She pleaded the apex court for a relook at its verdict by which her plea to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment was rejected. She filed the petition after the Supreme Court commuted death sentence of other prisoners on the ground of delay in deciding mercy plea.
Earlier, the Centre had assured the Supreme Court that death sentence of Bhullar will not be executed till it takes a decision on a fresh mercy plea on medical grounds.
The government had informed the court about the report sent by Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor in which he had not favoured execution of Bhullar’s death sentence.
The LG, in his report sent to the Centre, said, “On principles of human ethics and natural justice, I cannot bring myself to recommend the rejection of the mercy petition of Navneet Kaur (wife of Bhullar) and my comments may kindly be forwarded to the President of India for the final disposal in the matter.”