The death warrant of former CM Beant Singh's convict Balwant Singh Rajoana has come back to Patiala jail authorities. Additional session court Chandigarh sent the warrant and has put a remark asking the jail to execute the order on March 31.
The packet of the letter reached the jail in the afternoon through registered post. Additional session judge Chandigarh Shalini Nagpal had cited a high court ruling on it.
In the remarks, the judge has cited rules and order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court: "If the condemned prisoner has been or should be transferred to another jail, and the superintendent to whom the original warrant of commitment was addressed returns the warrant for execution of the death sentence to the sessions judge with an intimation that the prisoner has been transferred to another jail, the sessions judge shall issue a revised warrant to the superintendent of the jail in which the prisoner is confined".
With this, the onus of hanging Rajoana has again come on jails department of Punjab, which on Monday had send back the death warrants of Rajoana to the Chandigarh court. It had cited inability to hang him at the Patiala Central Jail, since the case in which he has been pronounced death sentence belong to Chandigarh.
The jail administration of the state is now on tenterhooks, keeping in mind the sensitivity of hanging of Rajoana in Punjab. On Thursday, DGP jails Shashi Kant summoned all his subordinates to his office to find a way out of the situation.
Government sources said a group of legal experts of the state government and the advocate general of the state were also being consulted by the DGP jails. In Patiala, there are indications that if the death sentence is executed in Patiala, a few officials could contemplate retirement.
DGP Jails Shashi Kant, when contacted said the letter has been received by Patiala jail superintendent. "Nothing can be said about the execution of orders, since the case has some legal caveats. Officials are holding meetings and trying to resolve the situartion. Let us hope for the best."
The jail administration hopes that the execution might be delayed if the Akal Takht, which will meet on Friday, issues a 'hukamnama' (dictate) to Rajoana asking him to appeal against the hanging orders.