Rajiv Gandhi's killers to remain in jail as SC refers their case to constitutional bench
In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Friday referred the case of Rajiv Gandhi's killers related to their release from the jail to the constitutional bench. Earlier the Tamil Nadu government has made a controversial decision to release the convicts in the case, which was later challenged by the Central government in the apex court.
The decision to refer the case to the
constitutional bench was pronounced by Chief Justice of India
Sathasivam (he took this decision on his working day, as on 27 April
he will be retiring). The three people whose sentences were commuted
from death to life were: V Sriharan alias Murugan, AG Perarivalan and
T Suthendraraja alias Santhan.
On Feb 18, this year, the Supreme Court
has commuted their death sentence on the ground of 11 years of delay
in deciding their mercy pleas by the President. And immediately after
this judgment on Feb 19, the Tamil Nadu
government announced their
release. But, contending the decision, the center rushed to the
Supreme Court and got a stay on their release till Feb 20.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in May
1991. His assassins were convicted by a TADA court in January 1998
and were awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the apex
court on May 11, 1999.
Now, with this new development, the
seven life convicts have to stay in jail till the constitutional
bench comes out with its verdict on whether the Tamil Nadu government
has the right to release them or not.