LAW RESOURCE INDIA

HC dismiss PIL seeking stay of Rajoana’s execution

Posted in DEATH PENALTY by NNLRJ INDIA on March 22, 2012

HINDUSTAN TIMES

The public interest litigation seeking stay of the operation of judicial order for executing Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in assassination of ex-Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and 17 others, was dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday on the ground that the petitioner had no ‘locus standi’(legal stand) to file the petition.

The division bench comprising justice Hemant Gupta and justice AN Jindal said that earlier Rajoana had already refused to put appearance before the high court in the murder reference and had also declined the assistance of a counsel to defend himself on  government expenses. “He(Rajoana) has not even filed an appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. This court has no such jurisdiction to stay an order passed by the Co-ordinate Bench(one of the courts in high court) by way of an interim order in a public interest litigation,” held the bench. A division bench of the high court on October 12, 2010 had confirmed Rajoana’s death sentence but converted another co-accused Jagtar Singh Hawara’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

The petition filed by an NGO, Lawyers for Human Rights International had requested that till such time the petition filed by the CBI challenging the earlier high court orders in the Supreme Court attains finality, the execution of Rajoana’s death sentence should be stayed, as there is a possibility of setting aside the high court’s order confirming Rajoana’s death sentence. The petititioner also submitted that a co-convict in the case, Lakhwinder Singh has also filed an appeal in the Apex Court.

However, citing an Apex Court’s judgment in a case of 1992 ‘Simranjeet Singh Mann vs Union of India’, the division bench said that the public interest litigation was dismissed in this case which was filed by a president of a political party challenging the conviction and sentence awarded to two convicts. The Apex Court judgment reads, “In the present case, no fundamental right of the petitioner before us is violated; if at all the case sought to be made out is that the fundamental rights of the two convicts have been violated. The two convicts could, if so minded, have raised the contention in the earlier proceedings but a third party, a total stranger to the trial commenced against the two convicts, cannot be permitted to question the correctness of the conviction recorded against them. If that were permitted any and every person could challenge convictions recorded day in and day out by courts even if the persons convicted do not desire to do so and are inclined to acquiesce in the decision. …”

The division bench also cited two more Apex Court’s judgments, i.e. in ‘Karamjeet Singh Vs. Union of India(1992)’ and ‘Ashok Kumar Pandey Vs. State of West Bengal(2004)’challenging death sentence of one Dhananjay Chatterjee, reiterating smilar view while dismissing PILs.

Timeline:

August 31, 1995 : Ex-Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and 17 others assassinated by a human bomb Dilawar Singh outside Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat.

July 31, 2007 : Trial court awards death sentence to Hawara and Rajoana. Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh and Shamsher Singh awarded life imprisonment and Nasib Singh sent to 10 years imprisonment.

October 12, 2010 : High Court confirms Rajoana’s death sentence, converts Hawara’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

March 5, 2012 : Additional sessions judge, Chandigarh orders Rajoana’s execution on March 31 at 9 am.

March 22, 2012 : HC dismisses PIL seeking stay on orders of Rajoana’s execution.

2 Responses

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  1. Adv. Kawaljeet singh said, on April 16, 2012 at 22:28

    But this judgement is just a violation of “RULE OF NO DPUBLE JEOPARDY” implies that ” no one can be convicted twice for one offence.. Contained in Art. 20(2) of the constituon of India.. As rajoana has already completed his 17 years in jail now its just like a 2nd punishment for same offence nd thus violative of Art 20(2)

  2. Adv. Kawaljeet singh said, on April 16, 2012 at 22:35

    NO DOUBLE JEOPARDY RULE ???


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