Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Government counters Bhullar bid to escape the death penalty

By Mail Today Reporter

Last updated at 8:25 PM on 25th February 2012

The Centre has submitted before the Supreme Court that death-row convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar was wrongly relying on the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights to seek commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment.

The Union home ministry told the apex court in an affidavit that the constituent countries in the United Nations were 'sovereign' and had the right to determine their own legal jurisprudence.

The affidavit, filed by joint secretary J.L. Chugh, says death sentence was 'constitutionally approved and permissible' in India and the covenant only talked of desirability of abolition of capital punishment.

Chugh said India was free under the covenant to make provisions for sentences for offences provided in the statutes.

Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights refers to the desirability of the abolition of the death penalty by member nations.

The second optional protocol of the convention, however, mandates abolition of death sentence. India has not signed the second protocol.

On Bhullar citing the covenant, the Centre said he was trying to divert the attention and his argument has no merit in the case.

'Abolition of death penalty in India is a different issue which has no connection to the issue of disposal of the mercy petition under the constitutional scheme,' the Centre said.
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2106456/Government-counters-Bhullar-bid-escape-death-penalty.html?ito=feeds-newsxml [accessed on 28th Feb 2012]

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