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Germany has no locus standi to seek clemency for Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar: India

Last Updated: Friday, May 10, 2013 - 20:55

New Delhi: India does not see any locus standi of Germany in the case of death row convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar for whom they are pressing clemency.
Amid reports that the German President and the Foreign Minister have written to their Indian counterparts seeking clemency for Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) terrorist Bhullar, sources here said the Khalistani terrorist was not extradited but deported under an executive order in 1995 and hence, there is no ground for Germans to intervene.

"There is no locus standi, legally, of Germany to seek clemency for Khalistani terrorist," sources said, noting that Germany has in the past also made efforts for commutation of Bhullar`s death penalty into life imprisonment.

Last month, the Supreme Court had dismissed Bhullar`s plea for commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment on ground of delay in deciding his mercy plea. Bhullar was given death penalty for triggering a bomb blast here in September 1993, killing nine people and injuring 25 others, including then Youth Congress President M S Bitta.

However, after the Supreme Court`s dismissal, Punjab
Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal had approached Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Home Minister to find a way out to stop Bhullar`s execution on the ground of peace and harmony in the state.

To which Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government has decided to examine the demand for clemency as made by the Punjab Chief Minister.

Earlier in the day, German Ambassador Michael Steiner said his country is opposed to death penalty but parried a question on whether his country`s leadership has written seeking clemency for Bhullar.

Germany has a "principled position" on death penalty and it does not amount to interference in any internal matters, he said when asked whether seeking clemency for Bhullar is an interference in the internal matter of India.

"Germany has a principled position that it is opposing death penalty because we don`t believe it serves the cause of justice," he told reporters here.

Asked about the letter again, Steiner said "I think if someone has a principled position, it is not an interference in any internal matter."


First Published: Friday, May 10, 2013 - 20:55
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