Sunday, April 1, 2012

We'll examine Rajoana's mercy plea on merit, says Chidambaram

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday said that his ministry would examine on merit the mercy petition of Balwant Singh Rajoana, sentenced to death for assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh and it would be submitted to the President for a final decision.

Mr. Chidambaram said that Rajoana's mercy petition, filed by Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, has reached the Home Ministry two days ago and has been added to the list of mercy petitions of condemned prisoners.

At his monthly press conference, Mr. Chidambaram said that execution of a condemned prisoner has to be put on hold once a mercy petition was filed before the President and it should be kept in abeyance till a decision was taken on the prayer.

He said guidelines in this regard were very clear. “Once a mercy petition is filed on behalf of a sentenced prisoner, the sentence cannot be executed unless there is a decision on the mercy petition. So, when we got the copy of the mercy petition (of Rajoana) from the President's Secretariat, we immediately drew the attention of the government of Punjab to the standing guidelines and the instructions,’’ he said.

“By drawing the attention of government of Punjab to the standing guidelines and instructions, does not mean the Home Ministry is expressing any opinion on the merits of the mercy petition,’’ he said.

with thanks : The Hindu : LINK for detailed news.

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