New Delhi: Pleading that a mentally imbalanced person should not be executed, the wife of terrorist Devender Pal Singh Bhullar has urged the Supreme Court to quash his death penalty and commute it to life term.

In a fresh writ petition filed by senior counsel K T S Tulsi, the convict's wife Navaneet Kaur submitted that carrying out the death penalty would amount to "cruelty" and would be "inhuman" and violative of Article 21 of the Constitution as no person suffering from mental retardation
could be executed.

Bhullar was sentenced to death by a designated TADA court on August 25, 2001 for his role in the September 10, 1993 bomb blast in Delhi targeting the cavalcade of then AIYC president Maninderjit Singh Bitta, who escaped with serious injuries, though nine security personnel were killed.

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed his appeal, review and also the curative petition on March 12, 2003.

President Pratibha Patil had on May 25 rejected his mercy plea, two days after the Supreme Court sought response from the Centre and the Delhi government on the 5,700 days of delay in deciding the plea.

In her fresh writ petition through counsel Raj Kamal, Kaur has submitted that the May 25 order of the President ought to be quashed as "the same suffers from lack of application of mind, non-consideration of relevant circumstances and presumably having being made on extraneous grounds and or on irrelevant facts".

Kaur claimed that Bhullar has turned "mentally retarded" on account of more than 5,700 days of delay in deciding the mercy petition.

(Agencies)