The prime witness in former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh's assassination in 1995 has approached the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking release of the award money of Rs 10 lakh as declared by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to the person helping in the arrest of the key accused.
Taking up the petition filed by Nayagaon (SAS Nagar) resident Balwinder Singh, the court headed by justice Ritu Bahri has issued notice of motion to the Chandigarh administration as well as the CBI to file their replies in a week.
The assassination of Beant Singh and 17 others was carried out through human bomb Dilawar Singh on August 31, 1995, near the civil secretariat, Punjab, in Chandigarh. The trial court had in July 2007 awarded death sentence to accused Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh Rajoana, life imprisonment to Shamsher Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Lakhwinder Singh, and Nasib Singh was sent to 10 years' imprisonment.
The petitioner has claimed that it was on his information, at the cost of risk to him and his family, that the real accused were arrested, but for the last 18 years he was running from pillar to post to get his legitimate reward. The court was informed that if the authorities denied justice to the petitioner, in future nobody would put his/her life at risk to help the authorities. Due to his daring act, the terrorist groups openly targeted and threatened his family. It was informed that the CBI and the Chandigarh administration were shifting the responsibility of release of award money to each other.
Earlier also, he had approached the court following which the Chandigarh administration had released an award of Rs 30,000 to him.