A ray of hope for the Sarabjit Singh from Pakistan’s apex court (Lead)

June 21st, 2009 - 11:00 pm ICT by ANI  

By Ravinder Singh Robin

Bhikhiwind, June 21 (ANI): A ray of hope has emerged for Sarabjit Singh alias Manjeet Singh’s family, as the Pakistani Supreme Court will hear three criminal review petitions on Monday, filed by Sarabjit Singh alias Manjit Singh, against the death sentence awarded to him for his alleged involvement in three bomb blasts.

Sarbjit’s wife Sukhpreet Kaur, daughters, Swapandeep and Poonam and sister Dalbir Kaur of Sarbjit Singh on Sunday performed prayers (Ardas) at the local Gurdwara.

The family on this occasion said that it wants the Pakistani authorities to look at the case with sympathy, as it’s a case of mistaken identity and claims he is innocent.

The family also has urged the Indian leadership to include Sarbjit’s case on its top agenda while talking to Pakistan.

“It was good to know that the Pakistan Supreme Court would hear his review petition against the death sentence awarded to him for his alleged involvement in three bomb blasts on Monday. Though lot of efforts are being done by the Indian government but we are worried as now Sarbjit is still languishing in Pakistani jail for the last 19 years”, said Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarbjit Singh.

According to the family of Sarbjit Singh, who has been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in bomb blasts in Lahore, he is a victim of mistaken identity.

He has been convicted of espionage and terrorism and sentenced to death for being a spy for the Indian RAW. He has been accused of masterminding the 1990 bomb blasts in serial bomb blasts in Lahore, Faislabad, and Kasur.

“My father is innocent. I hope that after hearing the review petition of my father, the Pakistan’s Supreme Court would release Papa,” said Swapandeep, elder daughter of Sarbjit.

A three-member Bench of the Supreme Court (SC) will hear on Monday three criminal review petitions filed by an Indian national, Manjeet Singh alias Sarabjeet Singh, against his death sentence awarded for his involvement in three bomb blasts in Pakistan, a Daily Times report stated on Saturday (June 20).

The Bench consists of Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, Justice Qaim Jan Khan and Justice Zawwar Hussain Jaffery. On March 9, 2006, a two-member SC bench had dismissed Singh’s review petition against the sentence for his involvement in carrying out a bomb blast at Lahore’s Yakki Gate in 1990.

Singh’s first review petition was dismissed, whereas another three identical review petitions against sentences on different counts are pending in the apex court.

Sarabjit Singh is a resident of Amritsar in Punjab. He was arrested near the Kasur border in Pakistan in August 1990. As per his family, he had actually strayed into Pakistan’s territory in an inebriated state.

Singh was awarded death sentence by a Lahore anti-terrorism court in October 1991 for carrying out serial bomb blasts in Pakistan.

He challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court, however, the apex court quashed his appeal in September 2005, saying that the review petition was not filed within the time period as mentioned in the law. (ANI)

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