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SC grants ‘last chance’ to Centre to decide on commuting Rajoana’s death penalty

Mehta submitted that government is examining it and urged the top court to have the matter after three weeks, under the present circumstances. Rohatgi said that he is opposing the submission of the Solicitor General.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 26, 2021 5:54:22 am
Balwant Singh Rajoana

The Supreme Court Monday gave the centre a “last chance” to to take a call on the plea of Balwant S Rajoana, facing death penalty for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, for commutation of sentence.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde allowed the government two weeks time to take a call and let it know the decision.

Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the government is examining the issue and urged the court to take it up after three weeks “under the present circumstances”.

But the bench also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian sought to know “why three weeks?”

The bench reminded that on the previous date of hearing, it had asked the government to decide the same by January 26.

Appearing for Rajaona, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi said his client has been in jail for last over 25 years and his mercy petition is pending for over eight years.

Mehta pointed out that Rajoana is in jail for killing a Chief Minister.

A former Punjab Police constable, Rajaona was held guilty for his role in an explosion outside the Punjab civil secretariat which took the lives of Beant Singh and 16 others in 1995.

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