Prof. Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar was transferred to Punjab from the Tihar Jail on June 11, 2015. He has spent over 14 years in confined imprisonment. Various human rights activists and Government officials have supported his release on humanitarian grounds. Although Prof. Bhullar’s death sentence was commuted, following are some facts about the validity of his sentence –
1) The senior judge, Justice MB Shah, who was the presiding judge of the 3 judge bench that sentenced Prof. Bhullar, voted for an acquittal. Prof. Bhullar was sentences despite the split decision. The public prosecutor AG Chaudhari, who was arguing against Bhullar, supported the verdict of Justice MB Shah.
2) When arrested, Prof. Bhullar was given no legal counsel, which is a violation of international law (ICCPR).
3) Confessions must be given before the court, however in the case of Prof. Bhullar, he was forced to confess before the police. This confession has been retracted by Bhullar. He alleges that he was tortured and made to sign blank papers. This claim was never investigated and no other evidence was presented.
4) 133 eyewitnesses were called to identify Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar. None was able to identity him.