Update on Unfair Trials Case

In August 2001, Devender Pal Singh Bhullar was sentenced to death by a special court, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) for his involvement in a bomb attack in New Delhi in 1963 killing nine people. This Act contained provisions which are incompatible with international fair trial standards: he had no lawyer during his pre-trial detention and trial and was convicted on the basis of a “confession” to the police which he later retracted. In March 2002 the Supreme Court upheld his sentence though one of the three judges found him not guilty noting there was no evidence to convict him.

Devender Pal Singh Bhullar filed a mercy petition which was rejected in May 2011 eight years after the request was filed. This decision was challenged by the Supreme Court which included the grounds of inordinate delay in considering his mercy petition. On 12 April the Supreme Court rejected his mercy plea in a judgement that ignored claims he had been subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. A review petition of this judgment was dismissed on 14 August 2013.

Devender Pal Singh has been suffering from severe depression and shows symptoms of psychosis and has suicidal tendencies.

International fair trial standards prohibit the death penalty against people with mental disabilities.

Appeal to the Prime Minister to:

  • Stop the execution of Devender Pal Singh
  • Re-try Devender Pal Singh in judicial proceedings that meet international fair trial standards.
  • Investigate complaints of torture and other ill-treatment and concerns around his mental health
  • Halt all further executions, commute all death sentences and establish a moratorium on executions.

Write to:

Prime Minister

South Block, Raisin Hill

New Delhi 110 001


See: ADPAN Unfair Trials reports

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