The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the execution of Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, sentenced to death for a bomb attack on the former Indian Youth Congress president Maninderjeet Singh Bitta in 1993, and decided to examine his case afresh.

The court in April 2012 rejected his plea for commutation to life imprisonment because he was a terrorist and the grounds of delay in the President disposing of his mercy petition were not applicable to him.

Now, his wife Navneet Kaur filed a curative petition and an application saying the benefit of the January 21 judgment on inordinate and unexplained delays be extended to her husband also.

Court seeks report

A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu and S.J. Mukhopadhaya, after hearing senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi, sought a report from the Director, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), where Bhullar is being treated, about his health within a week.

The Bench issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government seeking their response to the curative petition and posted further hearing to February 19.

The CJI told counsel that the court “would examine whether our January 21 judgment is applicable or not in this case. We also want to know his present medical condition.”

Justice Lodha said: “We want to know what the legal ground is. Whether a judgment of a two-judge Bench can be corrected by way of a curative petition and whether justice can be overturned in a case like this.”

The CJI said that Bhullar’s family members could file a separate writ petition citing the January 21 judgment.