May 26, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi (May 26, 2011): Whereas there is a global wave against death penality, India has decided to go ahead with it. After seven years, the clearance has been given for execution of two convicts that could start the process of clearing the long list of death row convicts.
Mrs. Pratibha Patil, President of India, has rejected the revew petitions filed under Article 72 (Indian Consitution) on behalf of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar of Punjab and Mahendra Nath Das of Assam following the recommendations from the Union Home Ministry, sources in the Ministry said.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan declined to comment, says economics times media report. Bhullar was sentenced to death by a trial court in 2001, for plotting a bed on Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, former youth leader of the ruling Congress party. Though Bitta had escaped the bid but 9 others had died.
A couple of days ago, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee through advocate K. T. S. Tulsi had urged in the Supreme Court that either his petition should be decided expeditiously or alternatively his death sentence be commuted.
The President has also rejected the mercy petition of Das who has been found guilty of murdering one Hara Kanta Das.
This is for the first time since 2004, when the go ahead has been given for the execution of Dhanjay Chatterjee, that the President has given the nod for any execution.
The decision is expected to spark strong criticism from Sikh circles as Prof. Bhullar’s case has many other related aspects also. Bhullar’s Father, uncle and Friend were killed by Punjab Police during their enforced disappearances. Punjab’s current Vigilance Cheif, Sumedh Saini, is considered to be accused for these murders but he, along with other accused has not faced any trial till date. Moreover Bhullar’s conviction also lacks strong basis. He was convicted solely on the basis of alleged confession made during police custody. Justice M. B. Shah, who was heading three judges bench of the apex court, had accquitted Prof. Bhullar. Justice Shah had rejected the confessional statement labelling it as bundle of lies and tailor made confession. But, other two judges while placing their full reliance on that statement, awarded death punishment to Prof. Bhullar.
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