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Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Centre moves apex court to stop release of 4 convicts

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on February 24, 2014

Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.   -  The Hindu Archives

After having secured a stay on release of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the Centre today moved the apex court to prevent implementation of Tamil Nadu Government’s decision to set free four other convicts serving life imprisonment in the case.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam agreed to hear the Centre’s plea on February 27.

Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra told the Bench that the “substantial” petition containing names of all seven convicts have been filed today and the case be heard on an urgent basis.

The apex court had on February 20 stayed the release of three convicts — Murugan, Santhan and Arivu — whose death sentence was commuted to life term by it on February 18 in the case, saying there had been procedural lapses on the part of the State Government on the decision to release them.

The Centre’s move came after the apex court had said it could file a fresh petition regarding the other four prisoners whose sentence has also been remitted by the Tamil Nadu Government.

It has sought stay the release of convicts Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran.

The Jayalalithaa Government had on February 19 decided to set free all the seven convicts in the assassination case.

Santhan, Murugan and Arivu are currently lodged in the Central Prison, Vellore, in Tamil Nadu and they are in jail since 1991.

The other four are undergoing life sentence for their role in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbudur.

The Bench had on February 20 issued notice to Tamil Nadu Government, Inspector General of Prisons, Chennai, Superintendent of Central Prison, Vellore and the convicts — V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan and A G Perarivalan alias Arivu — for March 6.

Published on February 24, 2014
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