M A I N   N E W S

Rajoana, Bhullar bank on unprecedented appeals
Jangveer Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, November 21
Unprecedented appeals will decide the fate of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted of assassinating former Chief Minister Beant Singh, and Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, a former militant convicted in the bomb blast that injured Maninderjit Bitta besides killing nine others.

Both cases have become emotive issues in Punjab with radical groups, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and even Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal demanding clemency for the death row convicts.

While Rajoana is lodged in the Central Jail, Patiala, Bhullar is incarcerated in Delhi. Besides, 14 other death row convicts are lodged in three jails of Punjab. But these convicts still have appeals pending in various courts besides option of mercy petitions.

Four death row convicts have seen their sentences being commuted to life sentences by former President Pratibha Patil earlier this year following a mercy petition, says Inspector General Prisons Jagjit Singh.

Earlier this year, radicals and various Sikh bodies took to the streets after a Chandigarh court sentenced Rajoana to death and fixed the date of hanging for March 31.

Rajoana won a temporary reprieve after Badal met former President Pratibha Patil on the issue. The SGPC filed an unprecedented appeal on behalf of Rajoana. His execution has been stayed till the appeal is processed by the President.

Bhullar’s appeal against his conviction by a lower court was dismissed by the apex court in 2006 and the President rejected his mercy petition in May 2011. He was extradited from Germany in 1995 in the 1993 bomb blast case.

After public petitions and support from political parties, he was given another chance to file a mercy petition. 





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