M A I N   N E W S

Save Bhullar, Akal Takht tells SGPC
Perneet Singh/TNS

Amritsar, April 12
Shocked at the Supreme Court verdict, the Akal Takht on Friday said it will make all-out efforts to save Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said it was unfortunate that the Supreme Court had rejected Bhullar’s petition. He said it was a sad moment for the Sikh community.

The Jathedar said he had directed the SGPC to consult legal experts and take every possible measure to save Bhullar.

“It is disappointing that those who massacred Sikhs in 1984 are being rewarded with high posts, while the court has upheld the death sentence of a person who is on a death row for the past many years and is under treatment after losing his mental balance,” he said.

He alleged that the Centre has “always discriminated against Sikhs” while appealing the community members to maintain calm in this hour of gloom.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar termed the decision as “highly regretful and the one hurting the sentiments of Sikhs" while demanding that it should be reviewed. He said Bhullar had been behind the bars for years for a crime that he didn't commit. "The police produced so many witnesses in the court but none of them identified him. He has been sentenced to death on the basis of his confessional statement which was taken in the police custody. He has become mentally ill over the period of time. Moreover, the SC Bench was also not unanimous in its verdict against him," said Makkar.

He said the government should not adopt double standards when it comes to the capital punishment.

Terming the decision as unfortunate, senior SAD leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said the Supreme Court should also have taken humanitarian angle into account along with legal and technical issues while delivering the verdict.

He stated Bhullar was grappling with mental health issues for the past sometime and as per the law anybody who is physically not fit can’t be hanged. Chandumajra claimed that said this aspect was not brought into the notice of the then President Pratibha Patil when Bhullar’s mercy plea was under her consideration.

He said the SAD is yet to discuss the issue on the party forum, but soon a decision will be taken in this regard. He said the President should review Bhullar's case while the Prime Minister should also intervene into the matter. SAD (Delhi) president Paramjit Singh Sarna said though he respects the court's decision, "justice has been denied" to Bhullar.

"Nowhere, capital punishment is awarded on a split verdict. Moreover, nobody gets punished twice for a crime. Bhullar has already served jail term equivalent to life sentence and now he is being hanged. What kind of justice is this?" he asked. He said the government should take a lenient view in Bhullar's case.

Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh termed the dismissal of Bhullar’s as shocking and disturbing for people of Punjab. He said the decision was travesty of justice as Bhullar is on death row since 18 years.

“Firstly, he was given punishment on the basis of confessional statement taken by a police officer after torture. Secondly, it was a split verdict as the then Chief Justice acquitted him. Thirdly, he was deported from Germany, where capital punishment is not given,” he said.





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