Permits him to challenge court martial proceedings before appropriate authority.
The Supreme Court has stayed death penalty awarded to former BSF head constable Balbir Singh, who was found guilty of murdering his senior officer.
A bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice UU Lalit granted six months’ stay on his execution, permitting him to challenge the orders passed by the competent authority, as also the court martial proceedings.
Balbir Singh, a former BSF head constable, was awarded death sentence by General Security Force court. He was convicted for murdering his superior Deputy Commandant Kameswar Singh for ticking him off for dereliction of duty while posted at Rajnagar outpost in South Tripura district.
Balbir then gunned down Assistant Commandant Alok Ranjan as he had witnessed the killing of the other officer. The petition he filed under Section 117 of the BSF Act, 1968, to the authority, who had the power to confirm the sentence, was rejected.
Later, the Gauhati High Court, treating his letter as a writ petition, had directed that before execution of the death sentence, he should be given a hearing either in person or through counsel by the Director General of BSF or by the confirming authority.
Disposing of the special leave petitions filed by the Union against this judgment, the court observed: “The execution of the death sentence shall remain stayed for a period of six months. Needless to say, we have granted six months’ time so that the respondent can file appropriate proceedings before the competent authority and the said authority can address the lis in accordance with law. The competent authority, if so advised, can always extend the order of stay.”
Read the order here.
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