Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Life sentence is like slow poison, convict must realise victim's pain, says SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi must suffer to realise the victim's pain.

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2015, 00:44 AM IST
Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Life sentence is like slow poison, convict must realise victim's pain, says SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that life sentence was like slow poison and a convict in jail must suffer and understand the pain of the victims.

“Life sentence is like slow poison, convict must suffer and realise victim's pain,” said a five-judge Constitution bench hearing a case related to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassins, as per ANI.

The apex Court had asked the Centre yesterday if a Governor can take a decision over the mercy plea of any convict whose petition has been declined by the President.

The Supreme Court's ruling comes a day after Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told a bench of five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu that the mercy plea of the former PM Rajiv Gandhi's assassins was rejected by the President and also by the Governor (of Tamil Nadu).

So what was the mercy plea being argued by them now, he asked.

The bench was hearing the maintainability of the Centre's petition opposing Tamil Nadu government's decision to remit the life sentences and set free seven convicts in Rajiv assassination case.

Among the seven convicts, V Sriharan alias Murugan, Santhan, Robert Pious and Jaya Kumar were Sri Lankan nationals while female convict Nalini, Ravichandran and Arivu are Indians.

The issue of mercy was raised by senior advocates Ram Jethmalani who was appearing for Murugan and traced the history of judicial proceedings.

Earlier the apex court, on the plea of the erstwhile UPA government, had stayed Tamil Nadu's decision to set free all the seven convicts after remitting their sentences.

It had framed seven questions to be decided by a Constitution bench on the scope of executives' power of remission.

The main contention was that the delay in disposal of the mercy petitions by 11 years and four months made the execution of the death sentence "unduly harsh and excessive," amounting to violation of their right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

(With Agency inputs)