Tamil Nadu government has again sent a proposal to the Centre government to release the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case. But the centre has rejected the AIADMK government’s proposal. The Hindu reported that the Ministry of Home Affairs told the Tamil Nadu government that the matter is sub judice and hence it has no authority to release the prisoners.
According to reports the Home Ministry has sought the opinion of the Law Ministry and took the decision not to release the seven convicts.
This is the second time in two years that the Tamil Nadu government has sought the centre government’s permission to release the convicts. The first letter was sent when the UPA was in power. All the major political parties in Tamil Nadu are of the opinion that the convicts should be released since they have spent more than two decades in prison.
The seven convicts are V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini.
It was in 2014 February the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of Murugan, Perarivalan, and Santhan into life sentence. Then the Tamil Nadu government decided to remit the sentences of the three convicts along with the other four and sought Centre’s opinion on this. The Centre approached the Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu government’s decision. The Court ordered that the state government has no independent power to release the convicts sentenced under central law. Tamil Nadu government’s latest move comes on the eve of election.
The DMK has criticised Centre’s decision and told that BJP’s state unit and national leadership has different views on this. The party has also said the AIADMK government has not treated the issue in the right way.