Leaving no stone unturned the court of Additional District and Session Judge (ADJ), Shalini Singh Nagpal, gave a blow to the Patiala Jail Superintendent on Tuesday by returning the death warrants 'hanging order' of Balwant Singh Rajoana to Patiala Jail for compliance. The court said Rajoana's death warrant must be executed on March 31.
The court has also issued showcause notice to Patiala Central jail superintendent for "contempt of court", for April 16. The court said, "Superintendent, Central Jail, Patiala, Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar, has not once, but on two occasions, refused to execute the warrants of sentence of death by way of written communication on March 19 and on March 24.
He has even intended to interfere with the judicial proceedings, obstruct the administration of justice and also lower the authority of the court.
Amidst high tension prevailing in the courtroom, while returning the death warrants court observed, "The rules and order reproduced make it crystal clear that warrants of execution of death sentence are to be executed by Superintendent Central Jail, Patiala, even though, the condemned prisoner may not be originally committed to his jail."
On the issue of the territorial jurisdiction raised by the Patiala jail superintendent, court observed, "Since the Punjab Government has agreed to the arrangement for transfer of condemned prisoners of UT Chandigarh to Central Jail, Patiala, it does not behove the State of Punjab to refuse execution of warrants."
Court further observed that vide letter dated August 16, 1982, even lifers of District Jail, Chandigarh were agreed to be transferred to five central jails in Punjab. Can the state of Punjab refuse to execute the sentence of life imprisonment awarded to those prisoners on the ground that it had no territorial jurisdiction?
Also, vide letter dated January 6, 2010 transfer of condemned prisoner Balwant Singh was made on mutual basis from model jail, Chandigarh to central jail Patiala and the jail authorities are bound by law to execute the orders of this court, said the court.