Both the cases are very different and cannot be compared, said the advocate of Perarivalan.

SC says no automatic release for lifers will it affect convicts in Rajiv Gandhi case
news Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 19:02

The Supreme Court’s recent judgement barring automatic release for convicts sentenced to life imprisonment who have been in prison for more than 20 years has raised speculation about the seven persons convicted to life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. They have all been in prison for about 25 years now.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court was hearing an appeal filed by the state of Gujarat against a Punjab and Haryana HC order mandating the release of a life convict on parole before considering his case. The court said that under the provisions of the CrPC a sentence of imprisonment for life does not automatically expire at the end of 20 years.

Shivakumar, the advocate of Perarivalan, one of those convicted in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination said that much would depend on the state government’s right to take a decision on the question.

Talking to The News Minute, Shivakumar said, “In this particular case, the Supreme Court has considered the Gujarat state government’s opinion in the case and as the state government opposed the release of the convict, the Supreme court also opposed it. But in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the state itself is running the case. So now, the question that arises with this case is, does the state government have the right to take a decision in such cases or not?”

He added that both the cases are very different and cannot be compared.

However, advocate Paul Kanagaraj, President of the Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) feels that this judgement will definitely affect those convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

“The Supreme Court says life imprisonment is ‘life’ and there is no specific time period. But the state government has the right to release a convict. As far as the Rajiv Gandhi case is concerned, the Supreme Court has said that as CBI is investigating the case, central government should be involved in the case,” he said.

Senior lawyer Prabhakaran feels that the government should put in efforts to release the convicts in such cases. “The Supreme Court said that life imprisonment is life and we cannot predict (if it will be) 14 years or 20 years. The state government can grant an exemption. So the government should fight it out and release the convicts,” he said.

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