The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to commute the death penalty of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted in the 1995 assassination case of then Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, to life imprisonment.
Rajoana has been in jail for the past 26 years. A bench comprising Justices B R Gavai, Vikram Nath and Sanjay Karol said the competent authority will decide the plea of the convict seeking mercy.
On March 2, the top court had reserved its verdict on the plea of Rajoana after hearing the submissions of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the convict, and Additional Solicitor General K M Natraj.
Rajoana, a former Punjab Police constable, was convicted for his involvement in the explosion that took place outside the Punjab civil secretariat on August 31, 1995, killing Beant Singh and 16 others.
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A special court sentenced him to death in July 2007.