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April 14, 2024 12:38 am

SC reserves order on Balwant Singh Rajoana’s plea seeking to commute his death penalty

New Delhi, March 2

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea by Balwant Singh Rajoana, convict in former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, seeking to commute his death penalty for delay in considering his mercy plea.

A bench of justices BR Gavai, Vikram Nath, and Sanjay Karol reserved the order after both parties concluded the arguments. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Balwant Singh Rajoana.

The counsel told the court that he was sentenced to death in 2007 by the trial Court. Punjab and Haryana High Court confirmed it in October 2010.

The lawyer said that he has served 27 years in jail and his mercy petition was filed in 2012 but still not decided.

The court asked the counsel for Centre that why there is a delay in deciding the judgment.
Balwant Singh Rajoana said that there is a gross violation and urged the court to look at it. The petitioner’s lawyer said that keeping a prisoner on death row for so long violates their fundamental rights.

Rajoana had moved to the top court two years ago seeking implementation of a decision taken by the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) in September 2019 to commute Rajoana’s death sentence to life.

He had said that the Central government had 2019 announced its decision to commute his death penalty and grant remission to eight other convicts to mark the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

He sought the implementation of that decision and alternately prayed to commute his death sentence on the ground of the long delay in considering the mercy petition.

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