The Cabinet approved the proposal — drawn up at the behest of oil minister M Veerappa Moily — on Thursday. The pump, or the dealership, would be jointly registered in the name of Sarabjits’ widow Sukhpreet Kaur and one of the daughters, Poonam Kaur.
Sarabjit’s other daughter, Swapandeep Kaur, has already been given a job in the Punjab revenue department. IndianOil Corporation would identify a suitable option and build the outlet or dealership. The company could also hand over one of its own outlets to the family.
Sarabjit was lodged in Pakistani jail since 1991. The Pakistani government charged him with being an Indian spy and the courts there convicted him in a 1990 serial bombing case.
But both Sarbjit and the Indian government maintained that he was a farmer from a border village in Punjab and had strayed into Pakistani territory in an inebriated state.
Sarabjit’s lawyers filed mercy petitions on his behalf, arguing that he has been in prison for 22 years for a crime he had not committed. On June 26, 2012, it was reported that Pakistan’s president had pardoned him on the basis of his petition filed on May 28, 2012. However, five hours later, the pardon was revoked and the government clarified that another prisoner, Surjeet Singh, had been pardoned and not Sarabjit.
While in prison in April 2013, he was attacked by fellow inmates and died six days later at Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital.