Beant Singh assassination convict moves Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking pre-mature release : The Tribune India

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Beant Singh assassination convict moves Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking pre-mature release

Petitioner Gurmeet Singh has undergone more than 27 years actual sentence and 31 years total sentence

Beant Singh assassination convict moves Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking pre-mature release

A file photo of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, December 13

More than 27 years after Punjab’s former chief minister Beant Singh was assassinated, a convict in the case today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking pre-mature release.

Taking up his petition, Justice Avneesh Jhingan of the high court today issued notice of motion to the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Notice was also issued to Burail jail superintendent, Patiala district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police.

Justice Jhingan also fixed February 20, 2023, as the next date of hearing on the petition filed by Gurmeet Singh through counsel Vijay K. Jindal and Vipul Jindal. The Bench, during the preliminary hearing of the case, was told that Gurmeet Singh was seeking the quashing of the impugned order dated October 31, whereby his plea for premature release was declined.

This, Vijay K. Jindal contended, was violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. Directions were also sought for issuance of an order, holding that the petitioner fulfilled all the requisite conditions for grant of premature release and was fully entitled to the same on usual terms and conditions in accordance with the policy applicable to the UT convicts after completion of 14 years actual sentence and 20 years total sentence.

Referring to a high court order conforming life imprisonment and other short-term sentences awarded to the petitioner, Jindal added a Division Bench recorded the finding that Gurmeet Singh and co-accused Lakhwinder Singh and Shamsher Singh were merely pawns in the hands of Balwant Singh and Jagtar Singh Hawara. They were only giving logistic support for the assassination of former chief minister.

Jindal added the Union Territory was of the view that petitioner might again be active in terrorist activities and had, as such, denied premature release.

“In this regard, it is specifically submitted that petitioner remained on parole for approximately 300 days under the provisions of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners Temporary Release Act. He also remained on parole for about a year because of the corona pandemic. During this entire period of approximately two years, there was not even a single incident which may prove directly or indirectly the likelihood of the convict committing a crime after the grant of premature release. Repeatedly the same very material which has been collected by the police authorities is being relied upon to deny premature release to the petitioner,” Jindal added.

The Bench was also told that the petitioner by now had undergone more than 27 years actual sentence and 31 years total sentence, including remissions and excluding the parole period.

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