Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence of three people who were convicted for killing of Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam has left it to the Tamil Nadu government to decide, whether to release them by granting them remission or not.
The plea was filed by the three
convicts Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan in Rajiv Gandhi
assassination case to commute their sentence to life imprisonment on
ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea by the President.
The Central government was against the
plea, saying that the convicts did not go through torture, agony and
dehumanizing experience during pendency of their mercy pleas. The
Centre's lawyer, Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati, had said there
was “not a word of remorse” in the convicts' petition for mercy,
as reported by NDTV.
The mercy petition was sent to the
President of India in 2000, but was rejected 11 years later. Their
hanging was stayed in 2011 on the orders of the Madras High Court.
The three were convicted in 1998, for
Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in 1991 when Gandhi was campaigning for
the elections. He completed his campaign in Vishakhapatnam and was to
do the next campaign at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.
On reaching the campaign rally in
Sriperumbudur, and when he got out of the car and and began to walk
towards the dias, then a suicide bomber went nearer to Gandhi and
triggered the explosion.