Mercy pleas: Congress refuses to join debate
New Delhi: Congress on Thursday refused to be
drawn into a debate over President Pratibha Patil`s rejection
of the clemency petitions of three of Rajiv Gandhi`s killers
whose death sentences were confirmed by the Supreme Court in
the year 2000.
"Many petitions are subject to an intensive scrutiny by
the executive after judicial probe in order to see whether
there is any merit for consideration. After that President has
to take a call on it. When a decision is taken after intensive
scrutiny, it is inappropriate for anybody to comment on it,"
party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.
He said that such issues should not descend to the level
of political commentary.
"It is absolutely within the right of an individual or
a political party to have a view on a judgement. If at that
time Congress expressed a view, it was entitled to it," he
said when asked about Congress reaction expressing sorrow over
the acquittal of other accused in the case over a decade back.
"Once a process has played itself out, we should respect
it," he added.
The apex court had sentenced members of the banned
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) Murugan, Santhan,
Perarivalan and Nalini to death in 1999 for the assassination
of the former Prime Minister in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.
A Rasthrapati Bhavan spokesperson said the clemency
petitions of all three accused were turned down by the
President last week.
The apex court had confirmed the death sentence of
Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan while commuting Nalini`s
sentence to life imprisonment.