Center wants to review order to release Rajiv Gandhi killer – Flying Journals

New Delhi:
The central government on Thursday asked the court to review its decision, a week after the Supreme Court ordered the release of six people convicted of the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Here are the 10 latest developments on this story:

  1. After six people, including a woman, were released last week from prisons in Tamil Nadu state, the center filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking a review of the order, where their three-year jail term has been waived. A very emotional and political question.

  2. The Center argued that the release of the offender without being given a full hearing resulted in “a recognized and blatant violation of the principles of natural justice and, in fact, resulted in a miscarriage of justice”.

  3. “In such a sensitive matter, the assistance of the Indian Union is crucial as this matter has a huge impact on the public order, peace, tranquility and criminal justice system of the country,” the government said.

  4. The government also said that given that four of the six convicts were Sri Lankan and had been designated as terrorists for the “horrific crime of assassinating the country’s former prime minister”, granting them pardons was “a matter of international ramifications and therefore entirely within the scope of the within the sovereignty of the Union of India.”

  5. Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber while campaigning for the Congress party in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, May 1991 . Seven people were sentenced to life imprisonment in this case.

  6. The court said its decision was based on the good behavior of the prisoners and the release in May of AG Perarivalan, another convicted person in the case, which said he was 19 when he was arrested and had been jailed for more than 30 years, of which Twenty-nine were held in solitary confinement.

  7. Congress has sharply criticized the verdict after disagreeing with its predecessor Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi’s widow, whose support led to the commutation of the death sentences of four convicts.

  8. “The decision of the Supreme Court to release the remaining killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is totally unacceptable and totally wrong,” the party said.

  9. However, the decision was welcomed by many in Tamil Nadu – including its ruling DMK party – who believed the sentencing of the criminals was unfair and that locals involved in the case had been part of a conspiracy, but not know its extent.

  10. Rajiv Gandhi was seen as retaliation for the killing of Indian peacekeepers after sending them to Sri Lanka in 1987, but the peacekeepers were withdrawn after losing more than 1,200 people in fighting and facing allegations of human rights violations in the island nation.

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