9:13 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Centre wants SC to review forgive to Rajiv’s assassins; PM against TN move

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rajiv gandhi

New Delhi: On the back foot after Rahul Gandhi expressed his unhappiness on the possibility of the assassins of his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi walking free, the Centre moved the Supreme Court on Thursday against the judgment commuting the death penalty of three convicts to life term and, also, against the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to release all the seven convicts in the case.

The court will take up the review petition for hearing at 12.45 pm. Given the serious nature of the petition, the apex court may stay the move by the Tamil Nadu government to free the convicts.

Clearly, the Centre has sought to make amends after it was caught unaware by the sudden decision of the Jayalalithaa government to release them within the next three days – a political master stroke ahead of the Lok Sabha polls .

In his first remarks on the issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “The assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi was an attack on the soul of India.”

“The Tamil Nadu’s government’s proposed course of action to release the killers of Shri Rajiv Gandhi is not legally tenable and should not be proceeded with,” he said.

The seven convicts who are set to be released are V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar (Sri Lankans) and AG Perarivalan alias Arivu, Nalini and Ravichandran (Indians).

All seven are in prison since 1991, the year a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber Dhanu blew up Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai.

The development came a day after the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence awarded to Murugan, Perarivalan and Santhan citing the inordinate delay in deciding their mercy petitions.

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