The Central government on Friday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court and said, in view of the current circumstances and internal security reasons of the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has yet not decided the mercy petition of death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana in the former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination case, sources told the Daily Guardian.
According to sources, the intelligence agencies have told the Ministry of Home Affairs in their input that the decision should not be taken in view of the current circumstances.
On 28 September, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to spell out its stand within a day on the mercy petition of death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana in the former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination case.
“We can’t force you to take what decision…but you have to take a decision,” said a bench led by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, which had earlier asked the Centre to take a decision in two months on Rajoana’s mercy petition without being influenced by the pending appeals of other convicts in the case.
The petitioner’s counsel had submitted that the convict had been in jail for more than 26 years and on death row since 2007. Convicted of assassinating Beant Singh in 1995, Rajoana has been in jail for 26 years awaiting his execution. The former Punjab Chief Minister and 16 others were killed in an explosion outside the Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh in 1995. He was sentenced to death in 2007 by a special court. His mercy petition has been hanging for more than eight years.