AMRITSAR SAHIB, Punjab—The SGPC has begun a legal discourse to follow up a mercy petition for Balwant Singh Rajoana, moved before President of India in March-2012. A seven member SGPC panel is likely to meet President Sri Pranab Mukherjee in coming days seeking his attention towards a mercy petition.
Death row convict Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana had started hunger strike November 4 in protest of an inordinate delay in the execution of his death penalty. In a letter addressed to Sikh community, he had slammed the SGPC for moving a mercy petition before President of India without his consent. Later, SGPC President Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar had met Bhai Rajoana in Rajindra Hospital and had asked him to break his fast by promising quick action with the mercy petition filed before President of India.
Addressing media at Teja Singh Samundari Hall on November 15, Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar said that he has written a letter to the President of India, Sri Pranab Mukherjee, seeking an early consideration of mercy petition regarding death penalty of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana. He clarified that Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana was not willing to seek mercy and he maintains his stance of punishing former Chief Minister Beant Singh and seeking a expeditious execution of his death penalty.
The contents of the letter written (under reference no. 27845/15.11.2016) by SGPC to President of India is reproduced below:
“His Excellency Sh. Pranab Mukherjee,
President of India,
Subject: APPEAL FOR CLEMENCY TO BHAI BALWANT SINGH RAJOANA FOR WHOM A PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 72 OF THE CONSTITUTION IS PENDING
Respected Rashtrapati Ji,
This plea is in respect of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana who had been sentenced to death by the Learned Additional Session Judge Chandigarh on 27-7-2007 a sentence which has been affirmed by the Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh. An appeal for clemency under Article 72 has already been filed before Your Excellency and is pending for consideration since 2012.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee the apex body of the Sikh community in the world is invoking the power Your Excellency for grant of clemency to Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana. This appeal echoes the sentiments of the entire Sikh community which is desirous of taking up this cause as the accused has preferred riot to file any mercy petition on his own accord and on the contrary has sought expeditious execution.
We may submit that the death sentence, if executed would result in a grave miscarriage of justice and would further result a serious compromise of the Right to Life and liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana has already undergone incarceration for over 20 years. The need to seek an audience with Your Excellency has arisen due to the mental distress suffered by Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana in regard to the decision upon his fate.
The SGPC has constituted a seven member committee, under the chairmanship of the undersigned being its President of this august body to pursue the legal matter in respect of the pending mercy petition before you. The following have been assigned as members of the Committee.
- Kirpal Singh Badungar, President Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar.
- Manjit Singh Ji G.K, President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, New Delhi.
- Amarjit Singh Ji Chawla, General Secretary, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar.
- Manjinder Singh Sirsa, General Secretary, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, New Delhi.
- Harcharan Singh, Chief Secretary, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar.
- Avtar Singh Secretary, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar.
- Paramjit Singh Advocate, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar.
The issue regarding grant of clemency to Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana is close to the heart of every justice loving person, as it is a matter of record that the act attributed to him, which has led to his conviction, was a result of religious and ideological beliefs. Granting of clemency to him would go along way in restoring the faith of a common man in constitutional and judicial system of India. The inordinate delay in executing the sentence of death penalty has also created a deserving case in favour of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana.
In an effort to place its views with regard to the pending appeal for clemency and to urge the additional grounds in its support, the seven member committee including the undersigned seeks an audience with Your Excellency at an early date. Your Excellency’s kind indulgence shall go a long way in assuaging the feelings of this minority community.
Kirpal Singh Badungar,
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee.”