Bhagat Singh case back in court

Pakistani lawyer files petition in Lahore High Court to set sentence aside

September 13, 2017 01:23 am | Updated 01:24 am IST - Lahore

 Bhagat Singh during detention in jail.

Bhagat Singh during detention in jail.

Eighty-six years after revolutionary Bhagat Singh was hanged for the murder of a British police officer, a Pakistani lawyer is fighting to prove the legendary Indian freedom fighter’s innocence in a Lahore court.

Advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi filed a fresh petition on Monday in the Lahore High Court for the early hearing of his case to prove Singh’s innocence.

The Division Bench of the Lahore High Court had in February last year asked the Chief Justice of Pakistan to constitute a larger Bench to hear the petition by Mr. Qureshi, who runs the Lahore-based Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation. But no action has been taken yet.

In the petition, Mr. Qureshi said Singh was a freedom fighter and fought for the freedom of undivided India.

Call for award

His petition wants the court to set aside the sentence of Singh by exercising principles of review and order the government to honour him with a state award.

Singh was hanged by British rulers on March 23, 1931 at the age of 23 in Lahore, after being tried on charges of hatching a conspiracy against the colonial government. The case was filed against Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for allegedly killing John P. Saunders.

Mr. Qureshi said he hoped the case would be heard this month. He said Singh was initially jailed for life but later awarded the death sentence in another “fabricated case.”

In 2014, the Lahore police searched through records of the Anarkali police station on the court’s order and managed to find the First Information Report on Saunders’ killing in 1928.

A copy of the FIR was provided to Qureshi on the court’s order.

Written in Urdu, the FIR was registered with the Anarkali police station on December 17, 1928 at 4.30 p.m. against two ‘unknown gunmen.’

The case was registered under Sections 302, 1201 and 109 of the Indian Penal Code. Singh’s name was not mentioned in the FIR, though he was eventually handed down the death sentence for the murder.


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