Rajiv Gandhi's killers to stay in jail: TN govt has no right to grant remission, says SC

The Centre had opposed Tamil Nadu government's move to release three convicts.

Last Updated: Dec 02, 2015, 12:15 PM IST
Rajiv Gandhi's killers to stay in jail: TN govt has no right to grant remission, says SC
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai on 21 May 1991.

New Delhi: In a historic verdict, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the Tamil Nadu government could not grant remission and release conspirators in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The matter was decided by the constitution bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu.

The case reached the Supreme Court after the Centre objected to Jayalalithaa government’s decision to release V Sriharan alias Murugan, AG Perarivalan alias Arivu and T Suthendraraja alias Santhan after after commutation of their death sentence into life imprisonment by the apex court on the grounds of inordinate delay by the President in deciding their mercy petition.

The apex court by its February 18, 2014 order commuting their death sentence had said that 11-year delay in deciding their mercy petitions was unreasonable and de-humanizing.

The entire issue was rooted on the conflicting positions taken by the central and the Tamil Nadu governments on latter's move to release Sriharan, Perarivalan and Suthendraraja after commutation of their death sentence.

The apex court later on stayed the release of the other convicts including Jayakumar, Nalini, Ravichandran and Robert Pious saying that there were procedural lapses on the part of the Tamil Nadu government.