The Centre govt. has rejected the proposal of the Tamil Nadu government to release seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
This is the second time in two years that the State govt. had written to the Centre seeking its views on its decision to remit their sentence. The first letter was sent during the UPA government’s tenure in February 2014.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that since the matter is sub judice in Supreme Court, it has no authority to release the prisoners.
The SC in 2015 had ruled that the state govt. has no right to release convicts without Centre’s concurrence. It said the word “consultation” used in Section 435 of Cr.PC meant “concurrence”.
Earlier the SC in a judgement had commuted the death sentences of 3 convicts owing to the delay in the disposal of their mercy petition.
Immediately after the commutation of death sentence of 3 convicts, T.N. govt then attempted to free them before 2014 Lok Sabha polls but the then Centre govt.(UPA) went to SC questioning state govt.'s power to release them. The SC decided in favor of UPA govt. The state govt. again requested the centre second time to release the prisoners , this time before state assembly polls.