NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s top court has commuted the death sentence of a Sikh separatist convicted for a 1993 bombing to life in prison.

Defense attorney K.T.S. Tulsi says the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a delay of eight years by the government in deciding Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s mercy petition amounted to cruelty. Also, he was suffering from mental illness.

Bhullar was convicted of triggering a bomb blast in New Delhi in 1993 that killed nine people. A violent campaign by Sikh separatists for an independent homeland in northern Punjab region ended in 1990s.

In January, the Supreme Court ruled that an unexplained or unreasonable delay by the government in deciding mercy petitions was dehumanizing to death row convicts. It reduced the death sentences of 15 other prisoners.

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