Apex court dismisses plea for Rajoana's clemency

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) raising the issue of capital punishment awarded to Balwant Singh Rajoana, saying that the plea was not maintainable as the victim had not claimed violation of his fundamental rights.

“This is a writ petition. It is the fundamental right of an accused only. It is the case where the person does not want any right to be enforced. It is not maintainable,” the court said.

The Bench also asked senior advocate P S Narasimhan, appearing for petitioner advocate Abhinav Ramakrishana, if a “third party” could invoke writ jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution even if the person had not filed an appeal.

“What would be the locus standi of the petitioner?” the court asked.Counsel said, “We want to bring the matter in notice of the court only.”

“If there is violation of any fundamental rights of the accused, we will entertain it,” the court said.It termed the petition “dismissed as withdrawn” after counsel agreed to withdraw the plea. Before that, the court also allowed NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International to withdraw its petition contending that Rajoana, awarded capital punishment for the assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, was not properly represented during the trial of the case.

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