SGPC to meet President on Rajoana’s mercy petition. Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to again seek time for a personal meeting from the President of India concerning the pending mercy petition of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict facing the gallows in the infamous former Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination case, presently lodged in the Central Jail here.It may be mentioned that Rajoana was awarded the death sentence by a Chandigarh court on July 27, 2007, thereafter High Court upheld the decision of the lower court. But later as the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs Akal Takht intervened in the matter and instructed SAD and SGPC to take up Rajoana’s clemency petition, SAD took up the matter with the Union government and SGPC also moved a mercy petition for the same but so far no progress has been made on this issue, even though on the insistence of SAD, the Union government has stayed the execution of Rajoana.Besides in November last year, even annoyed with the dillydallying in the matter, Rajoana himself started an indefinite hunger strike in the jail, but ended it when SGPC chief Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar assured him to get mercy for him from the President of India and later met the President with a seven-member delegation. However, the matter ended there as nothing worthwhile came out of the meeting. Speaking to Daily Post, SGPC chief Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, in an exclusive chat on Wednesday, said that SGPC has tried its best to take up the case and even the previous President of India Pranab Mukherjee had assured them of granting clemency in the case and had sent the file to the Union Home Ministry for comments, but after that the matter failed to get sorted out.Prof Badungar added that SGPC was in constant touch with the Union government in this connection and was making efforts to get the issue resolved as early as possible. He said that the process has again got delayed with a change of guard as new President of India has assumed office and as per the Union Home Ministry, the ball was again in his court. SGPC chief said that now the SGPC has again decided to approach the President of India Ram Nath Kovind over the issue and so seeking time for the meeting as well and hoped to get the time shortly.Shifting his attention towards getting any type of exemption on GST, he stated that though the matter was taken up with the Union government, he accepted that Modi-led government had not extended any concession on GST for religious places till date, but added that still they were taking up the matter with the Finance Minister Arun Jaitely and the feedback was positive. He also said that he had urged Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh a number of times to just give some relaxation in VAT as it was a state subject and it would provide a lot of help.
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