Facing criticism from the Congress, the union government last week moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its order for premature release of the convicts in the case.

A collage of the six convicts released on Nov 11
news Rajiv Gandhi assassination Monday, November 21, 2022 - 16:45

The Congress will file a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision to release six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, party sources said on Monday, November 21. The petition will be filed this week, they said.

"A fresh review application challenging the Supreme Court decision to release the convicts on the grounds set out in the order will be filed on behalf of the party in the next few days," a party insider said. Facing criticism from the Congress, the government last week moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its order for premature release of the convicts in the case.

The Supreme Court on November 11 directed the release of the six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1991 at an election meeting in Sriperambudur, Tamil Nadu. Seven people – Murugan alias Sriharan, Nalini, AG Perarivalan, Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P Ravichandran were convicted in the same year and were given death penalties. This was later commuted to life imprisonment in the later years. 

One of the convicts, AG Perarivalan, was released in March 2022. Six months later, the other six of them were released. The Supreme Court was hearing two petitions and four applications for the release filed by the convicts themselves. The legal reasoning for releasing the convicts was already established when Periarivalan was released and the same arguments would apply to the others as well, the top court observed. 

A bench of Justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna noted that the convicts all displayed good conduct in prison, and that they had also received educational qualifications while in jail. “We have no reason to keep you in jail any longer,” the court noted.

Read: 7 reasons why the Congress opposes the release of Rajiv Gandhi case convicts

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