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Arvind Kejriwal seeks clemency for Devinderpal Singh Bhullar

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking clemency for Khalistani militant and 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar. The Aam Aadmi Party leader's move is
India TV News Desk January 30, 2014 13:38 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking clemency for Khalistani militant and 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader's move is being viewed as a bid to appease the Sikhs ahead of the General Elections.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear in an open court the plea of Bhullatr for commutation of death sentence awarded to him for the September 1993 blast to life imprisonment.

The hearing in the open court assumes importance in view of the January 21 judgement of five-judge constitutional bench holding that inordinate and inexplicable delay by government in deciding mercy plea of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence.

Bhullar was convicted and awarded death penalty for triggering a bomb blast in New Delhi in September 1993, which killed nine persons and injured 25 others, including then Youth Congress president MS Bitta.

The apex court had on March 26, 2002 dismissed Bhullar's appeal against the death sentence awarded by a trial court in August 2001 and endorsed by the Delhi high court in 2002.

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

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 14, 2011. Citing the delay, he had again moved the apex court for commutation of the death sentence but his plea was rejected.