HC dismisses PIL seeking stay of Rajoana's execution | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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HC dismisses PIL seeking stay of Rajoana's execution

Finding the public interest litigation seeking stay on execution of the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana, one of the convicts in ex-Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and 17 others' assassination case of August 1995, as meritless the Punjab and Haryana high court said on Tuesday that once the sentence has been awarded by a competent court, no other court except the court in appeal or revision can modify the order of sentence.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 27, 2012 19:18 IST
Sanjeev Verma

Finding the public interest litigation seeking stay on execution of the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana, one of the convicts in ex-Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and 17 others' assassination case of August 1995, as meritless the Punjab and Haryana high court said on Tuesday that once the sentence has been awarded by a competent court, no other court except the court in appeal or revision can modify the order of sentence.

The petition filed by Khalra Mission Committee of Tarn Taran, Punjab came up for hearing before the division bench of justice Hemant Gupta and justice AN Jindal, which was dismissed.

The bench observed, "In the present case, as far as this court is concerned, the matter has attained finality when the murder reference as well as the criminal appeal was decided on October 12, 2010. This court in terms of Section 362 of the Criminal Procedure Code cannot modify either the conviction or the sentence. What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly as well."

Counsel for the petitioner also submitted before the court that an appeal was pending before the Supreme Court at the instance of one of the convict and the Apex Court in exercise of its power under Article 142 of the Constitution can grant benefit to the non-appealing convict. Hence, Rajoana's sentence should not be executed at this stage, it was prayed.

The division bench also did not find any merit in the arguments of the counsel in which he made mentioned about the two Apex Court's judgments related to the case.

The petitioner had also sought directions to the trial courts in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh that where the sentences of two or more accused was same in the trial court and in case of appeal the sentence of any of the accused is reduced in the appellate court, the same benefit be given to all other accused who had not filed the appeal so that the non appealing convict may not undergo the sentence.

On this, the division bench said that the issue, "is required to be raised when the appellate or the revisional jurisdiction is being exercised and not after the announcing of the sentence."

Earlier on March 22, the same division bench had dismissed a similar public interest litigation filed by an NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International for the reason that the third person had no locus standi(legal right) to challenge the conviction of the convict.

The petitioner claimed to be an organisation to prosecute the persons who killed the innocent persons and to defend those who have been falsely implicated in cases because of political vendetta.