The Supreme Court has issued notice to six states on mob lynching of Muslims despite its 2018 verdict

After no SC relief, SGPC presses Centre for Balwant Rajoana's release

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday said the Centre should take a call on releasing Balwant Singh Rajoana after the Supreme Court declined to commute his death penalty in the assassination case of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

The apex court refused to commute Rajoana’s death penalty, saying, “It is within the domain of the executive to take a call on such sensitive issues”. The court said the competent authority may deal with Rajoana’s mercy plea.

In a statement issued hours after the court order, the SGPC, which has been pressing that Rajoana be granted mercy, said he has already “served more than life imprisonment” and was deprived of parole during his imprisonment. “The Supreme Court has directed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to take a decision in Rajoanas case and therefore, the government should take action,” SGPC chief Harjidner Singh Dhami said in the statement.

Rajoana, the convict in the 1995 Beant Singh assassination case, has been in jail for the past 26 years.

“The government of India has already issued a notification regarding the commutation of Rajoanas sentence on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in 2019, in view of which the government should take an immediate decision. “By implementing this notification of 2019, the government should also decide to release Rajoana, as he has served more than life imprisonment and was deprived of parole during his imprisonment in jail,” said Dhami.

Rajoana, a former Punjab Police constable, was convicted over his involvement in an explosion outside the Punjab civil secretariat that killed Beant Singh and 16 others on August 31, 1995.

A special court sentenced him to death in July 2007.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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