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Supreme Court upholds commutation of death to life sentence for killers in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 29 July 2015, 13:46 IST

The Supreme Court on 29 July rejected the Centre's curative petition against its verdict commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment of three convicts involved in in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case.

What is the issue?

  • The bench was hearing a reference by a three judge bench on the question whether, after the commutation of a death sentence to life imprisonment, the state could grant further remissions of sentences to release the Rajiv Gandhi assassins.
  • On 18 February, 2014, the court had commuted the death sentence of Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan to life imprisonment on grounds of delay by the Centre in deciding their mercy plea.
  • The bench held that it was "indisputable" that the delay in deciding the mercy plea was "inordinate and unreasonable", and had not been caused by the convicts.
  • The central government last week told the apex court that no mercy could be shown to the killers of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi as it opposed the Tamil Nadu government's move to set free seven convicts by granting them remission of sentence.
  • Opposing the Tamil Nadu government's plea to release the seven convicts, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the Constitution Bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit that "our former prime minister was killed by these people, there was a conspiracy to kill him in which foreign nationals were also involved. What mercy could be shown to them?"

First published: 29 July 2015, 13:46 IST
 
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