“Pakistan Court Objects to Reopening of Bhagat Singh’s Sentencing Case and Posthumous Honors”

Pakistan Court Objects to Reopening of Bhagat Singh’s Sentencing Case

A court in Pakistan has raised objections to a plea seeking the reopening of the case and sentencing of freedom fighter and revolutionary Shaheed Bhagat Singh, who was executed by the British in 1931. The plea aims to set aside his sentencing, exercise principles of review, and posthumously honor him with state awards.

Bhagat Singh, alongside his comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev, was hanged by the British on March 23, 1931, after being tried on charges of conspiring against the British Raj. Initially, Bhagat Singh was sentenced to life imprisonment but later received the death penalty in another case that is widely regarded as “fabricated.”

On Saturday, the Lahore High Court raised objections to reopening the decades-old case and forming a larger bench to consider the petition advocating the setting aside of Bhagat Singh’s sentence through the principles of review. The petition also urges the government to bestow posthumous state awards in his honor.

Advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, chairman of the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation and one of the petitioners, explained, “The court objected that the petition is not maintainable for the constitution of a larger bench.”

The petition highlights Bhagat Singh’s pivotal role in the struggle for the subcontinent’s independence. It emphasizes that Bhagat Singh is revered not only by Sikhs and Hindus but also by Muslims. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, paid tribute to him twice during his speeches in the central assembly.

Qureshi stressed that this matter is of national importance and should be heard before a full bench. He pointed out that Bhagat Singh’s name was not mentioned in the first information report (FIR) related to the murder of British police officer John P Saunders, for which he was sentenced to death.

Approximately a decade ago, the Lahore police, acting on a court order, scoured the records of the Anarkali police station and located the FIR for the murder of Saunders. This FIR, written in Urdu, was registered on December 17, 1928, at 4:30 pm, against two ‘unknown gunmen,’ under Sections 302, 120, and 109 of the Indian Penal Code.

Qureshi further revealed that the special judges of the tribunal handling Bhagat Singh’s case had sentenced him to death without hearing the testimony of 450 witnesses in the case.

While the plea to revisit Bhagat Singh’s sentencing and honor his contributions with posthumous state awards faces challenges, it remains a symbol of ongoing efforts to recognize and commemorate his significant role in the subcontinent’s fight for independence.

Sources By Agencies

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