Devinderpal Singh Bhullar To Hang The Supreme Court has rejected mercy plea

Devinderpal Singh Bhullar

Devinderpal Singh Bhullar

New Delhi, April 12, 2013: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed death row convict Prof Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s plea for commuting his capital punishment to life imprisonment.

An apex court bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice SJ Mukhopadyay said the petitioner had failed to make a case for commuting death sentence to life imprisonment, on grounds of the delay by the President in deciding his mercy plea.

The apex court said: “Death penalty cannot be commuted to life sentence on the grounds of delay.”

“Petitioners have failed to make out a case for commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment on grounds of delay,” said the SC bench.

The apex court bench had reserved its order on April 19 last year on the issue on a plea of Prof Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s family which had filed a petition on his behalf pleading that his capital punishment be commuted to life imprisonment as there has been “inordinate” delay in deciding his mercy plea and he is not mentally sound.

It was submitted that prolonged incarceration of a death row convict awaiting his/her execution amounted to cruelty and violated the fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Prof Bhullar was awarded death penalty for triggering a bomb blast in New Delhi in September, 1993, killing nine people.

The Supreme Court had on March 26, 2002, dismissed Prof Bhullar’s appeal against the death sentence awarded by trial court and endorsed by the Delhi high court.

He had filed a review petition which was also dismissed on December 17, 2002. Prof Bhullar had then moved a curative petition which too had been rejected by the apex court on March 12, 2003.

Prof Bhullar, meanwhile, had filed a mercy petition before the President on January 14, 2003. The President, after a lapse of over eight years, dismissed his mercy plea on May 25 last year.

Government’s Ban on Sadda Haq Film is Shameful: Kuljinder Sidhu

Kuljinder Sidhu

Kuljinder Sidhu

Chandigarh/ Punjab (April 6, 2013): Protesting against the ban imposed by Punjab Government on Sadda Haq Punjabi movie the producer and actor Kuljinder Sidhu has termed the ban as shameful. The film was released worldwide on Friday, April 5. However, a day ahead of the release of the film on Thursday (April 4), Punjab government decided to ban the film under pressure from the police and the bureaucracy.

The neighboring state of Haryana and the UT of Chandigarh have also banned the film. Kuljinder Sidhu has termed the ban “shameful” and a “black spot on democracy” and said that they were planning to move the court to revoke the ban on his film.

“It’s a black day in the country’s democracy. It’s unfair that a few bureaucrats watched the film and decided to impose a ban,” Sidhu reportedly said.

“We tried to seek an appointment with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to impress upon him that the decision was unjustified, but in vain.”, he added.

“When the censor board has approved it, and even the SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) has given a nod, I don’t understand this ban. The CM and deputy CM should have been involved, but this is a decision taken by a few bureaucrats,” added Kuljinder Sidhu.

The Punjabi film is based on the events in the 1980s and 1990s in Punjab.

The film was scheduled to be released on Friday, April 5. The ban on the film came after several senior government officials, including chief secretary of the state watched the film and decided to put a ban.

“The film was banned to maintain communal harmony in the state and it won’t be released in theatres till further orders,” said a statement from the government.

Punjabi Film Sadda Haq Ban By Punjab govt

Sadda Haq

Sadda Haq

The Punjab government has imposed a ban on the screening of Sadda Haq, a Punjabi film glorifying the Khalistan movement and its leaders, on the eve of its worldwide release scheduled for Friday.

The decision was taken late Thursday night after senior bureaucrats and police officers, led by chief secretary Rakesh Singh, saw the movie.

“This step has been taken to maintain communal harmony in the state,” a spokesperson for the SAD-BJP government said.