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Sarabjit Singh's death sentence commuted?

August 09, 2010 15:21 IST

Pakistan has said that Indian national Sarabjit Singh alias Manjeet Singh's mercy petition was not pending in President Asif Ali Zardari's office, as his execution had already been stayed by the 'previous government'.

Zardari's Press Secretary said that some petitions seeking commutation of death sentences to life imprisonment were submitted to the President, The Nation reports.

He said that the issue had arisen on account of a speech made by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the National Assembly.

Gilani had said that the government was considering commuting death sentence to life imprisonment in suitable cases.

Sarabjit Singh, a resident of Amritsar, India, was arrested near the Kasur border in Pakistan in August 1990.

Pakistan security agencies said that Singh had admitted that he was sent to Pakistan to carry out serial bomb blasts in Lahore, Faislabad, and Kasur, and was trained by the Indian Army, and the Research and Analysis Wing.

Singh was awarded the death sentence by a Lahore anti-terrorism court in October 1991.

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.

In March 2006, a two member Supreme Court bench dismissed Singh's petition against his conviction in the Lahore's Yakki Gate bomb blast in 1990.

Singh has been languishing in Pakistan jails for the last 28 years, as Pakistan has denied setting him free, despite continuous efforts by Indian diplomatic channels.
Source: ANI