Tamil Nadu writes to Centre on freeing Rajiv Gandhi’s killers

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Government has sought the opinion of Ministry of Home Affairs seeking its opinion on releasing all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case.

In a letter to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, state chief secretary K. Gnanadesikan said that while the state has already decided to release the seven convicts, it is necessary to seek the Centre’s opinion under Section 435 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as they have been in prison for over 24 years.

Under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, the state governments have to consult the Centre before releasing life convicts who were tried by the CBI.

The J Jayalalithaa-led government had earlier sent a similar note in February 2014 to the then UPA government after the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of three convicts – Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan – citing inordinate delay by the executive in deciding their mercy plea.

A day after the court order, on February 19, 2014, the state suo motu ordered the release of all seven life convicts, but the Centre rushed to the Supreme Court and got their release stayed.

Meanwhile, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi has also appealed to the Centre to take steps for their release.

The seven convicts the state government wants to release include the three who were awarded death sentence but later remitted to life imprisonment by the apex court. (ANI)