Have You Seen The Pen Used For Signing Bhagat Singh’s Death Order?

Never Forget 23 March 1931

Academicians say Shaheed Bhagat Singh's trial is an important event in the Indian history because it defied the fundamental doctrine of criminal jurisprudence. The trial was held ex parte in breach of the principles of natural justice, according to which ‘No man shall be condemned unless he is given a hearing’. The three bravehearts were hanged to death on 23 March 1931 in the Lahore Central Jail.

In 2007, the birth centenary year of Bhagat Singh, the Supreme Court of India established a digital museum online to display landmarks in the history of India’s judicial system. It also put on display records of some historic trials. 

The pen that was used to sign Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru’s death sebtence. (Image: Altered by The Quint)

The Two Trials of Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh faced two trials. One was in the Delhi Central Assembly Bomb case. On 8 April 1929, Bhagat Singh and B.K. Dutt offered themselves for arrest after throwing harmless bombs in the Central Assembly to 'make the deaf hear.' Their case drew worldwide attention.

This trial started on May 7, 1929 in Delhi and was committed to the Sessions Judge, on charges under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code and the Explosives Act.

The second case pertains to 17 December, 1927, when the revolutionaries Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru shot and killed assistant superintendent of police John Saunders. Fellow freedom-fighters Sukhdev Thapar and Chandrashekhar Azad were their accomplices in this act. However, their original target was not Saunders but the superintendent of police James Scott who had ordered his men to lathi-charge protesters leading to the death of the Lala Lajpat Rai.

The trial in that case, related to the murder of Saunders, began on July 10, 1929. Bhagat Singh, who was on hunger strike since June 15 (along with BK Dutt, demanding status of political prisoners). was brought to the court on a stretcher.

Exhibits Related To Bhagat Singh’s Trials:

This is a grenade which became an important part of exhibits in the Assembly Bomb Case. (Image Altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Supreme Court of India)
FIR (in Urdu) naming Bhagat Singh in the Assembly Bomb Case. This FIR was registered at a police station in New Delhi against Batukeshwar Dutt and Bhagat Singh. (Image Altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Supreme Court of India)
This small poster was distributed during demonstration in Punjab highlighting the hunger strike undertaken by BK Dutt & Singh, that lasted 115 days. This poster was printed by the National Art Press, Anarkali, Lahore. (Image Altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Supreme Court of India)
Shirt of Bhagat Singh. A full sleeves khaki shirt with Italian collar, marked Bhagat Singh on the collar. (Image Altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Supreme Court of India)
Bhagat Singh gifted this watch that he owned to Jaidev Kapoor, his friend and fellow freedom-fighter. (Image Altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Supreme Court of India)
Bhagat Singh gifted this pair of shoes that belonged to him to Jaidev Kapoor. (Image Altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Supreme Court of India)
This is Sukhdev’s cap. The revolutionary usually wore it as a part of his attire. He was wearing this when he was caught and imprisoned. (Image Altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Supreme Court of India)
This pen was used by the Judge to write death sentences of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev in the Saunders Murder Case. Inscribed on the broken nib is the name of the manufacturer: The Latem, Hinks Wells & Co. Registered, Birmingham, UK. (Image Altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Supreme Court of India)
Death Certificate issued by jail doctor. (Image altered by The Quint/Original Photo Courtesy: Lyallpur)