Delhi HC Asks Prisons Dept to Prepare Updated List of Cases Pending Against Jagtar Singh Hawara

Representational Image

Representational Image

Hawara is undergoing life sentence for conspiring to assassinate former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

The Delhi High Court Friday asked the Department of Prisons to prepare an updated list of cases pending against Jagtar Singh Hawara, undergoing life sentence for conspiring to assassinate former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. Hawara has approached the high court seeking direction to the authorities to update his case details in the prison records, alleging that their inaction is preventing him from exercising his legal rights like parole, furlough and suspension of sentence pending appeal.

Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra, representing the Department of Prisons, submitted before Justice A J Bhambhani that as per the information available with the Delhi Prisons, there are 37 cases against Hawara. Mehra along with advocate Chaitanya Gosain said best efforts will be made to collate the list of cases along with their present status after collecting information from various courts outside Delhi and sought four weeks time for the purpose.

The judge said, Accordingly let an updated list be prepared and supplied to the petitioner (Hawara) before the next date of hearing. A copy will also be placed before the court which listed the matter for further hearing on December 11.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, representing Hawara, said due to the prisoner's incarceration, he is unable to track other cases in which he is implicated and hearings are going on. He said due to this he has faced adverse orders in cases outside Delhi and he is unable to be present in the hearings.

He added that since dates of hearings are not available with Hawara, who is lodged in Tihar Jail and he may suffer from adverse consequences. Mehra also submitted that they do not have information of all the cases pending against Hawara as most of them are pending in Punjab.

Hawara, in his petition filed through advocates Rudro Chatterjee and Shariq Nisar, said neither the authorities are updating the prison record of the cases against him on the basis of documents sought to be supplied by him nor they are making any efforts to procure information about the cases against him. The plea said this has resulted in preventing him from exercising any of his remedies in respect of release from the prison.

It added that this is a mandatory duty of the authorities to keep up to date record of all the cases pending against an inmate. Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara, the mastermind in the killing of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh in 1995, was sentenced to death penalty on July 31, 2007 by a Punjab court.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on October, 12, 2010 commuted the death penalty of Hawara and sentenced him to life imprisonment "till death" in the chief minister's murder case. 17 persons, including the then CM, were killed and 15 others were injured in the incident.

Hawara, along with five others, had also been awarded seven years jail term in the 2005 Liberty and Satyam cinema in Delhi blasts case of May 22, 2005. In 2004, Hawara had escaped from maximum security jail at Burail in Punjab along with 2 other Sikh prisoners by digging a 90-feet tunnel with his bare hands.

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