Chennai: Coming down heavily on Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister Jayalalithaa for her government`s stand in the Madras
High Court seeking dismissal of petitions of three Rajiv
Gandhi assassination case convicts for commutation of capital
punishment, DMK leader M Karunanidhi on Saturday said her "true
colour" (on the issue) has come out now.
"Cat is out of the bag. If she has any real intention of
saving the three (Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan), she should
have convened the state cabinet to pass a resolution to
recommend to the Centre requesting pardon for them, he said in
a statement here.
Tamil Nadu Home Secretary Rameshram Mishra in an affidavit
filed on behalf of the state called for dismissal of the mercy
pleas in the Madras High Court yesterday.
Karunanidhi said even the senior counsel in the Supreme
Court Colin Gonsalves had said the Chief Minister had powers
to reduce the capital punishment to life by taking a cabinet
"Instead of doing it, Jayalalithaa has sought the dismissal
of the writ petitions by the three. By this her true colours
has come out. Those, who are singing the praise of her will
realise it now", he said.
He said Jayalalithaa inadvertently had accepted that the
DMK government was instrumental in reducing the death sentence
of Nalini in the case to life, when she told the assembly that
mercy plea of the three had been rejected by his government at
the cabinet meeting on April 19,2000, accepting Nalini`s plea.
His government then had sent the mercy pleas to the Centre
and that was why their death sentences were not executed.
After a delay of 11 years, the President had rejected the
pleas, which was cited as one of the reasons in the recent
petitions, he said.
He said during his tenure as Chief Minister, the state
cabinet took decisions commuting the death sentences, saving
the lives of four people.
"At least now, without any further delay, Jayalalithaa
should use her powers and save the lives of the three. If she
continued to be adamant and delay it further, it will only
cause set backs", he said.