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SGPC petitions president to pardon death row convict Rajaona

Amritsar/Chandigarh , Mon, 26 Mar 2012 ANI

Amritsar/Chandigarh, Mar.26 (ANI): The Sikh Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had petitioned President Pratibha Patil to alter the death sentence handed out to Balwant Singh Rajaona for assassinating former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh on August 31, 1995.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar on Monday said that Rajoana's death sentence should be changed to life imprisonment.

Makkar said the SGPC had petitioned Patil, Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil and Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal on March 25.

"The SGPC has filed the petition yesterday (March 25) to the President, the Governor and we have sent a copy to the chief minister," Makkar said in Amritsar.

Citing legal infirmities, the jail authorities in Patiala jail - where Rajoana is lodged - have expressed to a court their inability to execute the convict on March 31.

"We have requested for the deferment (of the hanging) till the finality of the judgment. The matter is pending before the honourable Supreme Court," said L. S. Jakhar, a senior police officer," told reporters in Chandigarh.

However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has refused to buy local police argument in the court.

"Now, the warrants of the execution have been issued by the courts. They are trying to mislead the court by not bringing those documents, which was supposed to be brought before the honourable court. They have deliberately not brought this document to the honourable court and they are trying to mislead the court that execution can not be carried out of Balwant Singh without there being any legal support for that," said R. K. Handa, CBI counsel. (ANI)

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