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Decide on Rajoana’s pleas for clemency before January 26: SC to the Center | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court told the Center on Friday to decide before January 26 on multiple clemency petitions filed by individuals and organizations on behalf of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted of the 1995 murder of then-CM Beant Singh of Punjab.
“Give a decision before January 26. It is a good day and, if possible, approve the orders before that day, ”said a bench of the Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. The court told additional attorney general KM Natraj that this was the last postponement for the Center to make a decision.
Discussing from Goa via video conference, top defender Mukul Rohatgi told the court that Rajoana had already spent 25 years behind bars, of which 13 were on death row. “This in itself is punishment enough, according to SC’s ruling in the Shatrughan Chauhan case in 2014,” he said.
In 2012, up to 14 petitions seeking clemency for Rajoana were presented to the president, including those of then-Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Four petitions for mercy were filed against Rajoana.
The Ministry of the Interior in its recent sworn statement before the SC had said: “On the occasion of the commemoration of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, requests for mercy received on behalf of Rajoana were examined. However, the competent authority decided that the case can be prosecuted after the CV’s decision in the case of Jagtar Singh Hawara ”.
Rajoana and Hawara were sentenced to death by the trial court in 2007. However, the HC had commuted Hawara’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

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