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India Professor Bhullar's release possible after landmark SC judgement

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by aristotle, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. aristotle

    aristotle
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    In a landmark verdict that can come as a relief to many death row convicts, the Supreme Court on Tuesday held that death sentence of a condemned prisoner can be commuted to life imprisonment on the ground of delay on the part of the government in deciding the mercy plea.

    Giving life term to 15 death row inmates, including four aides of forest brigand Veerappan, the apex court also ruled that a death convict suffering from mental insanity and schizophrenia cannot be hanged.

    It overruled its own verdict in Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s case in which it had held that delay in deciding mercy plea cannot be a ground for commutation of death sentence.

    Death sentence in such cases can be commuted to life imprisonment on the ground of their mental illness, it said.

    Today’s judgment may have implications in various cases, including the petitions filed by three death row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case who have challenged the President’s rejection of their mercy plea less than three years ago.

    Framing guidelines on disposal of mercy petitions and execution of death sentence, a bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam ruled that convicts given death sentence must be informed about the rejection of their mercy pleas and should be given a chance to meet their family members before they are executed.

    It also held that solitary confinement of a prisoner, including death row convict, is unconstitutional and it should not be allowed in the prisons.

    The April 12, 2013 ruling was pronounced while rejecting Bhullar’s plea for commutation of sentence on ground of delay in deciding his mercy plea. At that time, there were over 20 convicts facing execution.

    Later on, an apex court bench had granted relief to a condemned prisoner M.N. Das who had sought conversion of his death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of delay in deciding his mercy petition.

    Justice Sathasivam, before taking over as CJI, had said that there was a need for “authoritative pronouncements” by a larger bench or a Constitution Bench on issues like mercy pleas to avoid conflicting views by smaller benches.

    (Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/nation...rappan-aides-to-life-term/article5600128.ece/)
     

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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    aristotle ji

    This is one of those stories where I want to feel joy, but all I can feel is resignation. He is on the door step of freedom for now. He is also a broken man. False hopes can only bring more suffering. Please sangat ji find time in your day for ardaas for the professor and for his family whose lives have been irreversibly broken into bits. May it be within the hukam of Waheguru that they and we find meaning and solace.
     
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