New Delhi, March 30. The Supreme Court today dismissed a PIL seeking relief to Balwant Singh Rajoana, sentenced to death in July 2007 for his role in the assassination of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh in August 1995.
A Bench comprising TS Thakur and Gyan Sudha Misra observed that no third party could be allowed to seek clemency or commutation of the death sentence to life term, that too through a PIL.
The PIL was filed by advocate Abhinav Ramakrishna. He had contended that since the Punjab and Haryana High Court had on October 12, 2010 commuted the death sentence awarded to Jagtar Singh Hawara, a co-accused, Rajoana should also be given relief. Further, Hawara had already come to the apex court challenging the high court verdict, the PIL pointed out.
However, the Bench was not convinced. “The convict himself does not want to appeal against the sentence.
What is your locus standi?” it asked. Senior counsel PS Narasimha, arguing for the petitioner, quoted SC verdicts to contend the state should come to the rescue of those whose Fundamental Right to Life was being violated in such a manner. It was duty of the state to assess points in favour of the convict and mitigating circumstances, he argued.
“If there is a violation, we will certainly look into it. But the aggrieved person should come to us,” the Bench said.
When the Bench firmly said the PIL “is not maintainable” as rights of the petitioner were not being violated, Narasimha said his client would like to withdraw the plea as he had merely wanted to bring the anomaly to the notice of the apex court. The Bench passed an order stating the PIL was dismissed as withdrawn. The Bench allowed withdrawal of two other petitions filed by Lawyers for Human Rights International, challenging the HC’s March 22 order. The court had dismissed petitions against the March 5, 2012 order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Chandigarh.