Decision on early release of convict for 1993 Delhi bombing postponed | Delhi News

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi government’s Sentencing Review Board on Tuesday postponed a decision on the early release of convict Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar in the 1993 Delhi bomb blast case.
According to sources, the council, chaired by Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain, discussed 27 of the 28 cases scheduled for Wednesday and only Bhullar’s case was postponed until the next meeting. While offering no explanation for the matter, sources said the board would resume advocacy at its next meeting.
Bhullar has been incarcerated at Amritsar Central Jail since June 2015 when he was released from Tihar Jail in Delhi on health grounds.
Members of the Sentence Review Committee include the Chief Prison Officer, the Secretary of State for the Interior, the Secretary of State for Legal Affairs, a District Judge, the Chief Government Probation Officer and an officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police.
Nine people were killed and 31 injured in the 1993 explosion. Former Youth Congress leader MS Bitta was among those who survived the attack. A TADA court sentenced Bhullar to death on August 25, 2001. However, his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court later.
According to officials, prisoners serving life sentences may be considered for early release after serving at least 14 years in prison without remission and having a good record of conduct in prison.
The officials added that the completion of 14 years does not entitle a prisoner to release and that it is solely at the discretion of the SRB to release such convicts.
Various Sikh groups had called for Bhullar’s release ahead of the Punjab assembly elections. Sources said the Centre, also in communication, had urged the Delhi government to take up the matter at the earliest.
Former Punjab Chief Minister and Patriarch Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Parkash Singh Badal had also called for Bhullar’s release in the “wider interest of consolidating peace and communal harmony” in Punjab. He had accused Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi party of obstructing his release.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had hit back, saying it was a sensitive issue and that the SAD was playing dirty politics on it.
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