Rajiv killing case: SC notice to Tamil Nadu

Apex court seeks response on plea seeking transfer out of Chennai

A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and H L Dattu issued notices to the Tamil Nadu government and the three death row convicts — lodged in Vellore jail — directing them to file their replies within two weeks on the petition filed by L K Venkata.

Major relief

Three convicts Murugan alias Sriharan, Santhan and Perarivalan alias Arivu — who were to be hanged on September 9 — got a major relief from the Madras High Court which had on August 30 stayed their execution on their plea that the President of India had taken about 11 years to reject their mercy petition which was illegal and immoral. In the petition filed in the apex court, advocate Nand Kumar sought the direction to transfer the death row convicts’ petition from the Madras High Court to any other courts or to the Supreme Court due to surcharged atmosphere there.

He submitted that in order to ensure “free and fair justice”, the transfer petition should be allowed.

Cites reasons

The petition cited several reasons including the fact that a similar petition was being heard by the apex court in the matter of death row convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar.

It also pointed out more than 5,000 supporters of the banned LTTE had gathered inside the High Court campus, raised slogans and burst fire crackers after the order staying their execution on August 30 was announced. “Political leaders and various organisation, also present and past governments, openly supported the convicts when the hearing was going on by passing unanimous resolution.  The said act may prejudice the judicial process,” the petition contended.

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