Rajiv Gandhi assassination: SC asks Centre to decide on fate of 7 convicts

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: SC asks Centre to decide on fate of 7 convicts

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to take a decision within three months on a 2016 missive sent by the Tamil Nadu government seeking an approval to release seven convicts in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The letter sent on March 2, 2016, had said that while the state government has already decided to release the seven convicts, it is necessary to seek the Centre's concurrence as per an apex court order of 2015.

On an application moved by the seven convicts, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, A M Sapre and Navin Sinha asked Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand to take a call on the letter of the state government within three months.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for Tamil Nadu government, supported the demands of the convicts and said the Centre should respond to the letter.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.

Advocate Prabhu, who appeared for the seven convicts -   V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santham, A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, P Ravichandaran and Nalini - said they have been in jail for 25 years now and have remained stuck between two governments.

He said the convicts in their application were seeking a direction from the court to the Centre to take a call on the letter written by the state government either way.

 

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