Commute death sentence of Rajiv killers: DMK to PM



New Delhi: A group of DMK MPs on Friday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and asked him to recommend to the President commutation of the death sentence of the three convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The MPs said the convicts – Santhan, Perarivalan and Murugan – have been in prison for more than two decades. In a memorandum to the Prime Minister, they also demanded abolition of death penalty.

"The death sentence of the three convicts should be commuted to life sentence on humanitarian grounds, taking into consideration the long period of imprisonment they have already undergone," they said.

The MPs said the government should adopt a resolution in this regard in the Union Cabinet and recommend it to President Pranab Mukherjee.

Noting that there were many instances when death penalty had been commuted to life imprisonment, the DMK members cited a judgement of the Supreme Court on May 1, 2013, commuting the death sentence awarded to convict Mahendra Nath Das to life sentence on the ground that his mercy petition was rejected by the President after 11 years.

"On behalf of our leader M Karunanidhi, we request you to consider the cases of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, which will also come under the same line. Their conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court in May 1998. They are suffering imprisonment for more than 22 years ever since their arrest in 1991," the DMK members said in their memorandum to the Prime Minister.

PTI