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Question of substantial justice in Rajiv case: Ram Jethmalani

PTI | Last Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 - 20:02

Chennai: Noted advocate Ram Jethmalani on Friday rejected arguments that there were procedural lapses on the part of Tamil Nadu government in deciding to release seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and said it was a "question of substantial justice."

"One side the allegations are being made. It is not a question of irregularity of procedure but it is the question of substantial justice," Jethmalani told reporters here.

Arriving here along with MDMK leader Vaiko, he said, "they have suffered life imprisonment, which is not ordinary but a life imprisonment, where every day (is spent under) the shadow of death...Which was an additional punishment and this is torture which has been recognised by all civilised countries to get rid of death penalty and I hope India will not fall behind."
To a query on the Supreme Court`s stay on the Tamil Nadu government`s decision to release the seven convicts, he said, "my own opinion and this is what I like to say if I do appear. Each day of life imprisonment under the shadow of death is like five times than life imprisonment which they have already suffered."

"I hope what Jayalalithaa has tried to do, will continue and victory will be ours in the Supreme Court and everything will be alright".

Vaiko, who has been campaigning for the release of the convicts said "we will place our arguments in the apex court."
The Supreme Court has adjourned hearing of the case to March 6.

In a surprise move welcomed by several parties, including arch-rival DMK, the Jayalalithaa government on February 19 has decided to set free all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, a day after the Supreme Court commuted the death penalty of three of them to life on the ground of 11 years delay in considering their mercy pleas by the Centre.

First Published: Friday, February 21, 2014 - 20:02

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