Taking cue from the Supreme Court’s recent decision to commute sentences of 15 death row convicts on the grounds of inordinate delay in their execution, 1993 Delhi blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar has moved the apex court seeking commutation of his death penalty to life term.
Reports on Friday said that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Bhullar’s petition for commuting his death sentence to life term and listed the matter for hearing on January 28.
Bhullar’s curative petition comes just a few days after the Supreme Court, in one of its landmark rulings, said that a delay in deciding mercy plea is a relevant ground for commuting death sentence to life imprisonment.
“Unexplained delay is a ground for commuting death penalty to life sentence,” read a ruling from a three-judge panel headed by Chief Justice Palanisamy Sathasivam.
A total of 15 people had challenged their death sentences on the grounds of delay due to the time taken for the president to answer their mercy petitions.
Petitioners include Veerappan aides- Meesekar Madaiah, Gnanaprakash, Simon and Bilavendran– and Haryana couple Sonia and Sanjiv who were sentenced to death for killing 13 of their relatives.