The Supreme Court on Monday gave the Union government two months to decide on the mercy plea filed by Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, reported PTI.

The court told the Centre to take the decision without being influenced by the appeals filed by other convicts in the case.

Rajoana, a former Punjab police constable, has sought commuting the death penalty given to him to life imprisonment, saying that he was already served about 26 years in jail.

Rajoana was sentenced to death on July 27, 2007. He and his associate Jagtar Singh Hawara were found guilty by a trial court in the killing of Beant Singh by triggering a bomb blast at the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat on August 31, 1995. On October 12, 2010, the Punjab and Haryana High Courts had confirmed Rajoana’s death sentence.

Rajoana had moved the Supreme Court in 2020 against the Centre’s delay in processing his mercy petition. He had filed the mercy plea on March 25, 2012.

Since 2020, the Supreme Court has repeatedly asked the Centre to decide on Rajoana’s petition, but the Union government has asked for more time. On March 24, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to decide on the plea by April 30.