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Bitta Slams Cong Over Bhullar Death Sentence Issue

New Delhi
Bitta Slams Cong Over Bhullar Death Sentence Issue
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

MS Bitta, a former Youth Congress chief, today attacked the party leadership over government's stand in the Supreme Court that it has "no problem" with commutation of death sentence of Khalistan terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar to life term.

Bitta, who was targeted of the 1993 bomb blast for which Bhullar was handed death sentence, alleged that the decision of not opposing commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment was taken by political leadership.

"The leadership of the Congress party has no sympathy for those who lost their lives in the blast. This is very unfortunate. I am a victim of political terrorism," he said.

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 chief Bitta.

"This is not a government decision. This is a decision by the Congress leadership. I think by supporting Bhullar's case a section in the party wants to finish me politically," said Bitta, who is chairman of All India Anti-Terrorist Front.

Referring to Delhi government's stand in the Supreme Court last month to commute death sentence of Bhullar to life imprisonment on the ground of his mental illness, Bitta demanded a CBI probe into his health reports and questioned their authenticity.

"There should be a CBI probe into claim that he is mentally ill," he said.

The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it has "no problem" with commutation of death sentence of Bhullar to life term and the petition in this regard has to be allowed in view of the court's verdict that delay in deciding mercy pleas can be a ground for such relief.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati told the court that he was making the submissions to this effect as the Centre's petition challenging the January 21 judgement, in which it was held that inordinate delay by government in deciding mercy plea of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence, has been dismissed.

The Supreme Court had on January 31 stayed Bhullar's execution and had agreed to review its judgement by which it had rejected the 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict's plea to commute his death sentence to life term.

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