TN favours the release of Rajiv case convicts: Law Minister

Prime News, Nation, (Chennai), June 6:-Tamil Nadu government is for the release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts but the matter was pending before the Supreme Court, Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam told the state assembly on Tuesday.

“There is no second opinion,” that the convicts in the case should be freed, Shanmugam, said replying to a plea of MLA, M Thamimun Ansari that the State government should take steps for their release.

The Minister said the state government’s decision to release the seven life-term convicts in the case was based on the policy of late chief minister “Amma” (Jayalalithaa).

However, the Centre took the matter to the Supreme Court where it was pending, he said adding the state government would decide its future course of action after the top court pronounced its verdict in the matter.

Raising the issue, Ansari, leader of Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi, an ally of the ruling AIADMK, said the apex court had early this year given the Centre three months time to take a decision on the release of the convicts.

Since the Centre had not come out with its stand, the state government should take efforts for their release, he said.

Looking at Congress members, Ansari said their party chief Rahul Gandhi, son of Rajiv Gandhi, himself had forgiven the convicts.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at an election rally on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur near here by a woman suicide bomber.

The apex court had on January 23 this year asked the Centre to take a decision within three months on a 2016 letter by Tamil Nadu government seeking its concurrence for releasing the convicts.

The Centre had asserted that the killers of the former prime Minister did not deserve any mercy as the assassination was the result of a conspiracy involving foreign nationals.

Earlier, Ansari drew the attention of the government seeking release of 28 prisoners, including Abu Thahir of Coimbatore, who he said had a serious ailment.

On this point, Shanmugam said his plea for their release will be considered if their cases met the criteria set out by the government, which is in tune with Supreme Court guidelines on pre-mature release of prisoners.

The state government on Monday announced the pre-mature release of 67 life convicts who have completed 10 years of imprisonment, in commemoration of the birth centenary of late Chief Minister and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran.

Outlining the norms, the Minister said police should give a ‘No Objection Certificate,’ the family of the convict should accept the convict on release, and there should be no threat to the life of the convict proposed to be released or to the general public from him.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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