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India court commutes death penalty for 1993 car bomber

Published on Mar 31, 2014 2:59 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's Supreme Court Monday spared a Sikh militant convicted of a deadly car bombing two decades ago from execution, citing his mental illness and lengthy delays in deciding on his plea for mercy.

The court commuted Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar's death sentence to life in jail in the latest such decision since a landmark ruling placed new restrictions on executing prisoners in the world's biggest democracy.

Bhullar, who developed mental illness in prison, has been languishing on death row since he was convicted of the 1993 car bombing in New Delhi that killed nine people and injured more than 20.

"Mental illness, schizophrenia and insanity are grounds for commuting the death penalty in Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar's case," Chief Justice P. Sathasivam told the court.

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