Three days before his scheduled execution in connection with killing of the former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh, on August 31, 1995, Balwant Singh Rajoana got relief on Wednesday, with the Union government staying the capital punishment.
The Union Home Ministry, in a letter to the State Government, stated that the execution of 44-year-old Rajoana has been stayed.
The decision came after Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal met President Pratibha Patil and submitted a mercy petition. The President's office then sent it to the Ministry, official sources said.
Mr. Badal mounted last-minute efforts to get relief for Rajoana as the ‘Singh Sahiban' (clergy) of the Akal Takhat decreed that the Chief Minister meet the President and seek clemency.
The petition was made on behalf of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the State government.
In August 2007, a special CBI court awarded the death sentence to Rajoana, who was a police constable and top operative of terror outfit Babbar Khalsa International, and Jagtar Singh Hawara.