Centre steers clear of Rajoana clemency issue

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 15:33

New Delhi: Amid a demand by Punjab government to grant clemency to Balwant Singh Rajoana in chief minister
Beant Singh killing case, the Centre today appeared unwilling
to intervene with Law Minister Salman Khurshid saying that
neither it nor the state government "can do anything outside
the system".

Asked about Akali Dal government`s demand for clemency to
Rajoana, Khurshid said, "I have also heard it but this is the
system, and neither the state government nor the Centre can do
anything outside the system that has been put in place. We
will have to work according to this."

Khurshid, however, cited the Indian philosophy and epics
which, he said, were disinclined to promote death penalties.

"This is a country where philosophies and epics would be
disinclined to promote death penalties," he said, and pointed
out that the Supreme Court has also taken this into account in
its several prominent judgements and have cut down the
sentences.

Maintaining that Supreme Court will take a final decision
in this regard, Khurshid said, "But when an exception should
be made... It is the Supreme Court ultimately and finally to
judge."

Noting that the
President has also granted clemency in few
cases, he said, "Of course there are clemencies and mercy
petitions and President of India has over the years found
suitable and appropriate reasons to grant clemency in many
cases."

Quickly adding that it would not be appropriate for him
to comment on the issue, he said, "In any given case what will
happen or not happen is something on which it would not be
appropriate for me to comment...."

Rajoana is scheduled to be hanged on March 31 in the
Patiala Central Jail.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 15:33

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