BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: President Partibha Patil has rejected the mercy petitions of two murder convicts Devender Bhullar and MN Das.
Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, Khalistan Liberation Force activist, and Mahender Nath Dass, a murder convict from Assam, will be the first persons to be sent to the gallows since Dhananjay Chatterjee, convicted for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Kolkata, was executed after then President APJ Kalam rejected his mercy plea.
Bhullar was convicted for attacking Congress leader MS Bitta in 1993, leading to several deaths in Delhi. This is the first time Patil has refused to grant presidential pardon.
It comes after the Supreme Court on May 23 expressed surprise over the 8-year delay in the disposal of Bhullar’s plea. All eyes are now on other petitions pending with the president.
Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesperson Archana Dutta confirmed that a decision had been taken in the Bhullar case, but refused to say what it was.
Home ministry sources confirmed that the mercy plea of 47- year- old Bhullar, who was accused of a murderous attack on former Youth Congress president M. S. Bitta in 1993, had been rejected.
“He escaped to Germany after the 1993 blast and was deported to India in 1995 to India, following which he was booked under TADA,” the source said.
Dass was convicted in a murder case and his mercy plea had been pending since 2000.
Incidentally, the decision in Bhullar’s case comes within two days of the Supreme Court issuing a notice to the government to explain why his mercy plea had been pending for the past eight years.
A date for hanging will now be set by the execution court for Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, convicted for the attack on the youth Congress office in 1993 and MN Das, who is guilty of murdering one Hara Kanta Das.
By one estimate, there are two dozen cases pending with the Rashtrapati Bhavan, but the question remains whether Afzal Guru’s case will be expedited. The Home Ministry has been of the view that these cases should be taken up serial wise or in a chronological order, a view countered by the Law Minister while speaking in the context of expeditious justice in the case of Mumbai terrorist Ajmal Kasab.
Lawyer KTS Tulsi said, “If the government could decide the mercy petition within two days of the notice from the Supreme Court, it would now be virtually impossible for them to explain the long delay of eight years.”
KTS Tulsi said that the whole mercy policy is flawed. “Why did they keep him on death roll which is for such a prolonged period, which is considered to be human rights violation and extreme cruelty on human being? It can’t be that because he has approached the Supreme Court, therefore, his petition is taken out of the turn and rejected and others continue to be pending. The whole policy is flawed.” he said.