S Venkatesan urged the President to prevail upon TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who has been sitting on the state government’s recommendation to release the seven convicts.

Madurai MP S Venkatesan
news Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case Thursday, November 05, 2020 - 15:39

CPI (M) leader and Lok Sabha MP from Madurai S Venkatesan has written to President Ram Nath Govind urging him to prevail upon Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to take swift action and immediately release the seven convicts in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case. He called the delay an assault on the Indian judicial system as the convicts have already served over two life terms.

Venkatesan in his letter to the President said, “This is to bring to your attention the distressing condition of the seven convicts who have been languishing in jail for over three decades in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and to kindly request you to facilitate their release as early as possible.”

“It is an assault on the Indian judicial system that the seven convicts continue to be imprisoned even after serving more than two terms of life imprisonment - a norm generally followed in the Indian judicial system,” he said.

The CPI (M)'s MP also mentioned that the release of the seven convicts have the support of major political parties, prominent human rights activists and several organizations in Tamil Nadu. He also brought the recent Supreme Court's observation to the notice of the President.

The apex court expressed unhappiness over the fact that the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has kept remission of the sentence of AG Perarivalan pending for over two years. "We do not want to exercise jurisdiction. But we're not happy with how this recommendation has been pending before the Governor for two years," observed Justice Nageswara Rao. 

The recommendation of the Tamil Nadu government to release the seven convicts and the plea by one of the convicts AG Perarivalan seeking an early release are all pending before Tamil Nadu Governor of the past two years.

The Madurai MP also said, “I most humbly urge you to prevail upon the Governor of Tamil Nadu to not prolong the issue further and immediately facilitate the release of the seven convicts who have had to undergo much longer duration of conviction."

The seven convicts are AG Perarivalan, Santhan, Murugan, Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar, Ravichandran. In February 2014, the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment for Rajiv case convicts, Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan, citing the delay in disposal of the mercy petition. The President took 11 years to dispose of the petition filed by the convicts. In April 2000, then Tamil Nadu Governor Fathima Beevi had commuted the death sentence of Nalini based on the state government''s recommendation and an appeal by Sonia Gandhi.

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