In a landmark judgment that came as a jolt to the ruling establishment, the Supreme Court on February 15, 2024, struck down the Electoral Bond (EB) scheme.
Supreme Court today in its order granted the Union Government two months time to decide afresh the pending mercy plea of death row convict, Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was awarded to the gallows for his role in the assassination of the former Punjab chief minister, Beant Singh in 1995.
A special court had in July 2007 awarded the death sentence to Rajoana in the case.
A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, directed the Centre to decide within two months Rajoana’s plea that his death penalty in the 1995 assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh be commuted to life imprisonment on grounds of his long incarceration of nearly 26 years.
“We direct the Centre to make its stand clear in two months and we will hear the matter after that, in July second week,” the bench headed by Justice Lalit said, in his order today.
Rajoana had moved the Supreme Court and filed a petition seeking commutation of his death sentence to life term on the grounds that he has been in jail for 26 years.
The bench of of Top Court also said that the pendency of the pending appeals of other co-convicts in the apex court in the case would not come in the way of authorities in deciding Rajoana’s plea.
The convict, Rajoana, a former Punjab Police constable, was sentenced to death for his involvement in an explosion outside the Punjab civil secretariat that killed Beant Singh and 16 others on August 31, 1995.
The top court asked the Centre to make its stand clear, on Rajoana’s ple, and fixed the matter for further hearing to July second week.