Bhullar hanging: Delhi Govt refers case to MHA

New Delhi, India: The Delhi Government has stayed the execution of 1993 Delhi blast case convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar on grounds of mental health and referred his case to the Union Home Ministry after a medical board examining him said he was in severe depression.

Bhullar’s file has been sent back to Tihar Jail by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna, said Ranjan Mukherjee, OSD to Khanna. He has also directed constitution of a new medical board to re-examine Bhullar’s mental health.

The file has been forwarded to Tihar Director-General Vimla Mehra and will be submitted to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs through the Delhi Government.
The medical board, set up by the Delhi Government to examine Bhullar’s mental health, has in its report submitted to the Delhi Government last month said Bhullar was not mentally sound as he was suffering from severe depression.

A Tihar Jail official said as per the jail manual, a death row convict cannot be executed if he is not physically and mentally fit.

Bhullar has been admitted to the Institute for Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences here for over two years and doctors treating him said he was suffering from depression and has suicidal tendencies.

Bhullar was given the death penalty for triggering a bomb blast here in September 1993 that killed nine people and injured 25 others, including then Youth Congress president MS Bitta.

Sources in the Delhi Government said the report of the medical board was sent to Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna earlier this month following which he referred it to the Tihar Director-General.

“The medical board said Bhullar is not mentally fit. As per norms, an unfit person cannot be hanged. It is a sensitive matter and we have decided to seek opinion of the Home Ministry,” a source said.

They said Khanna was of the opinion that laid down norms must be followed in the case. The sources said the medical board may again examine Bhullar after some months.

“We are closely monitoring him. He still has suicidal tendencies,” a doctor attending to Bhullar said.

Source: The Tribune

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