The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought relief for Balwant Singh Rajoana, convict in the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. Rajoana's death sentence was stayed by the government on Wednesday.
A bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra said the court cannot pass any direction granting relief to Rajoana on a third party's petition. Only the convict can file a plea before it, and the petitioner — advocate Abhinav Ramakrishna — had no locus standi to plead on his behalf.
It told Ramakrishnan that the petition under Article 32 could not be entertained since the petitioner was not an affected party. The bench also allowed an NGO, Lawyers for Human Rights International, to withdraw a similar petition.
Rajoana, a police constable and a close friend of another assassin, Dilawar Singh Babbar, was the second human bomb to be used — in case the first one failed to kill Beant Singh on August 31, 1995.
The special CBI court had awarded the death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara on August 1, 2007. The co-accused — Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh — were sentenced to life imprisonment for hatching a conspiracy to assassinate the former chief minister.
Rajoana did not appeal against the judgment. The death penalty of Hawara was commuted to life term after he filed an appeal.