The Congress Friday called the Supreme Court’s decision to release the remaining six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case “totally unacceptable” and “completely erroneous”. The six convicts whose release was ordered by the apex court include Nalini Sriharan, R P Ravichandran, Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar.
The bench, comprising Justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna, passed the order while taking into consideration the case of A G Perarivalan, another convict who was released in May.
Nalini, who is currently out on parole, had filed a petition after the apex court on May 18 ordered the release of Perarivalan, who had served more than 30 years in jail, by exercising its special powers under the Constitution’s Article 142. The Article enables the top court to pass orders to ensure “complete justice” in a case.
Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber at an election meeting in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. Seven convicts were sentenced to life terms in the case.
In 1999, the Supreme Court sentenced four of them to death and the other three to life imprisonment. In 2000, the death sentence of Nalini was commuted to life. In 2014, the Supreme Court commuted the other three death sentences, including that of Perarivalan.