President is seized of Balwant S Rajoana’s plea for commutation of loss of life penalty, Centre to SC

Picture Supply : PTI

Balwant S Rajoana

The Centre Friday instructed the Supreme Court docket that President Ram Nath Kovind is seized of the matter pertaining to Balwant S Rajoana’s plea searching for commutation of the loss of life penalty awarded to him in former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassination case, and a choice will likely be taken on it.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was instructed by Solicitor Normal Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Centre, that Rajoana had assassinated a former chief minister on the difficulty of ‘Khalistan’ — a requirement for separate statehood for Sikhs.

“The method has began and the President will take a choice. This a case the place the convict is accused of assassinating a former CM on the difficulty of ‘Khalistan’,” Mehta instructed the bench, additionally comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

He mentioned within the current circumstances, six weeks be granted to the Centre within the matter.

The bench allowed Mehta’s request and adjourned the matter by six weeks.

The apex court docket had on January 25 granted the “final likelihood” to the Centre to resolve inside two weeks on Rajoana’s plea searching for commutation of loss of life penalty within the case.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, showing for Rajoana, had instructed the apex court docket that “this man is in jail for over 25 years and his mercy plea has been pending for the final 9 years”.

Rajoana, a former Punjab Police constable, was convicted for his involvement in an explosion exterior the Punjab civil secretariat that killed Beant Singh and 16 others in 1995.

The highest court docket had on January eight requested the Centre to take a choice earlier than January 26 on Rajoana’s plea for commutation of his loss of life penalty within the case.

It had mentioned that January 26 is an effective day and it is going to be applicable if the federal government takes a choice earlier than that.

Rajoana’s counsel had earlier argued that his shopper’s mercy petition is pending since 2012 and the highest court docket has held that the loss of life sentence of an individual, if delayed for over eight years, might be commuted.

The apex court docket had on December four final yr questioned the Centre over delay in sending to the President the proposal for commuting Rajoana’s loss of life sentence.

It had requested the Centre to apprise it as to when the authority would ship the proposal on this regard to the President underneath Article 72 of the Structure.

The Article offers with the facility of the President to grant pardon, droop, remit or commute sentences in sure instances.

The apex court docket had famous that a letter was despatched from the Ministry of Dwelling Affairs (MHA) to the Punjab chief secretary on September 7 final yr intimating that a proposal could be despatched to the President to commute Rajoana’s loss of life sentence.

His plea has sought course for expeditious disposal of the MHA proposal. 

ALSO READ | Beant Singh assassination: SC grants final likelihood to Centre to resolve on commuting Rajoana’s loss of life penalty

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