Monday, 26 March 2012

Jail’s no to hanging Beant killer

Jail’s no to hanging Beant killer
Published: Monday, Mar 26, 2012, 8:00 IST 
 Ajay Bharadwaj | Place: Chandigarh | Agency: DNA

While the Akali Dal has decided to make a plea to the president for granting clemency to former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana, the superintendent of the Patiala central jail, where Rajoana is lodged, has once again returned his death warrant to the court in Chandigarh saying that the court order had “legal infirmities in the procedure followed and that Punjab had no territorial jurisdiction in the matter.”
The Chandigarh court had directed Balwant Singh, a Babbar Khalsa militant, to be hanged on March 31. While the crime took place in Chandigarh in 1995, Balwant had been lodged in the Patiala jail for security reasons. In a letter, the jail authorities have said that “it is the bounden duty of the superintendent of jail to ensure that the procedure established by the law is meticulously followed before executing the death sentence.”
The superintendent referred to the HC rules and orders that when a death sentence is confirmed by the High Court, the sessions judge would issue the warrant of execution for the sentence to the superintendent of jail, to which the prisoner was originally committed. In case the prisoner is transferred to another jail, the superintendent to whom the warrant was issued shall return the warrant to the sessions judge and a revised warrant has to be issued to the superintendent of jail in which the prisoner is confined.
“The warrants for execution of the sentence of death should have been addressed to the superintendent of the Chandigarh jail as the prisoner was originally committed to its custody on July 31, 2007,” states the letter.
It also says that there has been no jurisdiction in the law of Punjab to execute the death sentence since the offence had taken place within the jurisdiction of Chandigarh.
The trial was also conducted in Chandigarh and the conviction and sentence was also passed by the additional sessions judge there.