A four-judge bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam on Friday issued notice to the Centre and Delhi government on a curative petition filed by Bhullar's wife Navneet Kaur.
The bench also comprising justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya directed the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), where Bhullar is being treated, to file a medical report within a week on the condition of the death convict who is alleged to be suffering from a mental illness.
"We would examine whether our judgement (pertaining to commutation of death sentence to life term on the ground of delay in deciding the mercy plea) is applicable or not in this case," the bench said, adding "we also want to know his present condition".
"We direct Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences to send to us a report on condition of Devinderpal Singh Bhullar within a week," the bench said.
The plea of Bhullar's wife for commutation of death sentence assumes significance in view of the apex court's 21st January verdict holding that inordinate and inexplicable delay by government in deciding mercy plea of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence.
Bhullar's wife has filed the petition for relook against the apex court verdict which rejected her plea to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment on grounds of delay on the part of the government in deciding his mercy plea.
Bhullar was convicted and awarded death penalty for triggering a bomb blast in New Delhi in September 1993, which killed nine persons and injured 25 others, including then Youth Congress president M S Bitta.
The apex court had on 26th March 2002 dismissed Bhullar's appeal against the death sentence awarded by a trial court in August 2001 and endorsed by the Delhi High Court in 2002.
He had filed a review petition which was also dismissed on 17th December 2002. Bhullar had then moved a curative petition which too had been rejected by the apex court on 12th March 2003.
Bhullar, meanwhile, had filed a mercy petition before the President on 14th January 2003. The President, after a lapse of over eight years, dismissed his mercy plea on 14th May 2011.
Citing the delay, he had again moved the apex court for commutation of the death sentence but his plea was rejected.
The apex court on 21st January had held inordinate delay by government in deciding mercy plea of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence and had granted life to 15 condemned prisoners including four aides of forest brigand Veerappan.
In a landmark judgement, the court had held that prolonging execution of death sentence has a dehumanising effect on condemned prisoners who have to face the agony of waiting for years under the shadow of death during the pendency of their mercy plea.