Beant Singh’s grandson Gurkirat, however, says no objection to clemency
Jangveer Singh, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 24. Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar today said law should be allowed to take its own course in former CM Beant Singh’s assassination case. Jakhar said the Congress would not be party to any resolution supporting clemency for co-assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is lodged at Patiala jail and is slated to be hanged on March 31.
Jakhar’s comment assumes significance in the light of Beant Singh’s grandson and Congress MLA Gurkirat Singh Kotli’s statement that he had no objection in case the government decided to give clemency to Rajoana.
The CLP leader claimed the Beant Singh family had indicated to him at a recent meeting that they were also in favour of the law taking its own course in the matter. “They have not indicated their clemency stance, if any, to me even now,” he said.
However, Jakhar said, he would speak to the family again and take their opinion on the issue. “But, as the CLP leader, I am clear that the law of the land is supreme.”
He also said that the Akalis should answer what they considered as “disturbing peace” in the state. “Is going beyond the law protecting the peace of the state,” he asked. “The Congress will not support any resolution, which stood for bypassing the established laws.”
On the issue, Kotli said the family stood for peace and did not want the atmosphere of the state to be vitiated on any account. He said the family did not want hardliners to exploit the situation and had, therefore, come out with a statement that it did not have any objection to Rajoana being granted clemency. He said the statement was made keeping in mind that every action in the case would be taken within the ambit of the law of the land.
How things unfolded
January 14, 1996: Balwant arrested by the CBI
January 22: Balwant produced before Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate to record judicial confession
February 20: Balwant and accused Shamsher Singh move application, denying earlier confessional statement before the magistrate
December 24, 1997: Balwant files application narrating in detail the commission of offence; says earlier confession was correct and withdraws his application dated Feb 20, 1996
March 12, 1998: Balwant moves an application saying he does not want to contest the case
March 16: Amicus curiae SK Chopra discharged by the court and told not to represent Balwant
August 10, 2009: Balwant writes to the Chief Justice from the Burail Jail in Chandigarh