Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju has appealed to the President to pardon Devender Pal Singh Bhullar or commute to life imprisonment the death sentence awarded him in the 1993 Delhi bomb blast case.
Stating that nothing debars a second mercy petition, Justice Katju has referred to the minority opinion in the case by Justice M.B. Shah of the Supreme Court, who noted that the “only evidence against Bhullar is his alleged confessional statement to the investigating office.”
Justice Shah also said that when the others mentioned in the confessional statement were “not convicted or tried, this was not a fit case for convicting the appellant solely…”
Justice Katju said the President was empowered to “scrutinise the evidence in the case and come to a different conclusion regarding the guilt and sentence of the accused.”
Bhullar had already “suffered prolonged mental agony and trauma for this long period on death row” given that he had been in detention since 1995, Justice Katju said. He also had a “chronic psychiatric problem.”