NEW DELHI, Oct 17, Reuter: Two Sikhs condemned to hang for the 1984 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi lost a court battle on Monday to delay their execution.

The Press Trust of India said the high court rejected pleas that Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh should not hang until charges against two of Gandhi’s bodyguards were heard.

Satwant Singh is seeking the guard’s prosecution for killing fellow assassin Beant Singh after the Sikhs gunned down Indira Gandhi, Satwant Singh was badly injured.

The prosecution in their trial said’ the Sikhs had vowed to revenge the army assault on their religion’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, four months previously.

Counsel for Satwant Singh told the high court in New Delhi that execution warrants signed last week should be stayed until investigations were complete against the two accused bodyguards.

But two judges said they had no jurisdiction to grant relief to Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh who was condemned to death for conspiracy in the assassination.

Judge S.C. Jain signed warrants ‘on October 12 ordering the execution of the two men being held in Delhi’s top security Tihar jail but did not set a date for the hanging.

Kehar’s lawyers have appealed for clemency to President Ramaswamy Venkataraman but Satwant Singh’s lawyers have indicated he would not plead for mercy.

Article extracted from this publication >> October 21, 1988