India set to break death penalty mortarium, Balwant Singh Rajoana’s Black warrants issued

by Sanjeev Singh on March 14, 2012

Chandigarh/Patiala, Punjab (February 14, 2012): As per media reports “Black Warrants” for the execusion of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana, who has been sentenced death penalty in former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination case, reached Patiala Central Jail authorities on February 13, 2012 and he will be hanged in Patiala central jail at 9 am on March 31.

CM Beant Singh’s regime carried brutal and mass level killings of civilian Sikh population of Punjab. On 31 August, 1995 CM Beant Singh was killed in a plotted Bomb blast. Bhai Dilawar Singh carried out the blast and died during the incident. Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara, Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana, Bhai Paramjeet Singh Bheora and Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara are the prominent among those charged for assassinating CM Beant Singh. After trial Jargat Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh Rajoana were sentenced to death by Trial court. Punjab and Haryana High Court later reduced the sentence of Jagtar Singh Hawara to life imprisonment but confirmed the death sentence given to Balwant Singh Rajoana.

It is notable that Balwant Singh Rajoana had confessed his involvement and expressed no faith in Indian judiciary. He refused to defend himself in the court and accepted the sentence. He had accused Indian courts for applying dual standards of law and accused Indian system for shielding culprits of Sikh genocide 1984.

As per media reports in the state of Punjab this is going to be the first execution during the last 24 years. Chandigarh additional sessions judge Shalini Nagpal has issued the orders implementation of the death warrants. It must be mentioned that Rajoana did not challenge his conviction.

Rajoana is already facing trial in another court case at Patiala. The jail authorities of Patiala have written to DGP jails, seeking clarification regarding whether a death warrant can be carried out when the convict is undergoing trial in another case.

Balwant Singh is a native of village Rajoana Kalan, Raikot (Ludhiana). He had already announced to donate his eyes and other body parts after his death. In his will, he had expressed desire that his eyes should be transplanted to Hazoori Ragi of Darbar Sahib, visually impaired Bhai Lakhwinder Singh.

He will be the first person to be hanged to death after Dhananjoy Chatterjee of Kolkata in August 2004 who was sentenced to death pertaining to case of raping and murdering Hetal Parekh in her house in Bhowanipore on March 5, 1990.

Deputy superintendent, Patiala jail, Rajan Kapoor said he has information about the execution orders but did not divulge details in reagrd to the preparations in jail for Rajoana’s hanging. especially owing to the fact that Punjab has no hangman currently in the state. The jail officials have taken up this issue with higher authorities.

Advocate Navkiran Singh informed during a radio talk show on “Punjabi Radio USA” that death warrants issued by a court could only be interfered by a court.

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