Mercy pleas: Congress refuses to join debate
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 22:19
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.


First Published: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 22:19

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