Akali Dal, SGPC term Bhullar judgment ‘unfortunate’

Chandigarh, April 12 (IANS) The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Friday termed as “unfortunate” the Supreme Court judgment on the petition of 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar.

The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a plea by Bhullar challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the president.

An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J. 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.

Senior Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said: “It is an unfortunate judgment. We were hoping that the court would keep in mind the situation in Punjab at that time. We will appeal to the president to review the decision. We will also appeal to the prime minister to intervene.”

Bhullar was given capital punishment for the 1993 blast at the Youth Congress office in Delhi in which nine people were killed and 30 injured. The attack was targeted against then Indian Youth Congress president M.S. Bitta.

Bhullar had filed a mercy petition on Jan 14, 2003, which was rejected by the president May 25, 2011.

The SGPC, mini-parliament of the Sikhs, said it was “disappointed” by the apex court ruling.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said: “This is an unfortunate thing for the Sikh community.”

The Congress party, which is in opposition in Punjab, reacted cautiously.

Punjab Congress president Pratap Singh Bajwa said: “The judgment has been given by the highest court of the land. We have to respect that. I have called an emergency meeting of Punjab Congress leaders to study the judgment.”

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