Congress to file review plea in SC against release of Rajiv Gandhi assassins

Congress to file review plea in SC against release of Rajiv Gandhi assassins

The Congress will file a review petition in Supreme Court, challenging the court’s decision to release six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, senior party leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi has said.

“We are yet to decide on the modalities — whether we will intervene in the central government’s review application or intervene otherwise,” Singhvi told PTI on Monday.

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

The party has, in principle, decided to seek a review of the apex court’s decision, said Singhvi. It will seek the review in the next few days, said a party insider.

Centre’s contention

The SC on November 11 directed the premature release of the six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case serving life term in the case. This judgment came months after the apex court granted bail to a convict, AG Perarivalan, on May 18.

Watch: People thought Rajiv case would remain a mystery like Kennedy killing: DR Karthikeyan 

The released convicts include Nalini Sriharan, RP Ravichandran, Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas, and Jayakumar. The court noted that the Tamil Nadu government had recommended remission of their sentence.

The Centre has said the order was passed without granting it adequate opportunity for hearing despite it being a necessary party to the case. The government highlighted the alleged procedural lapse, saying the convicts seeking remission did not formally implead the Centre as a party, resulting in its non-participation in the case.

Congress’s position

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991, by a female suicide bomber of Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Gandhi was there to campaign for the Lok Sabha polls. His decision to send Indian forces to Sri Lanka in 1987 to combat the LTTE was seen as the major reason behind his assassination.

Also read: Rajiv Gandhi killers set free; what did they do in 1991?

The Congress had earlier termed the apex court’s order “totally unacceptable” and said it had shocked the nation’s conscience. It has also said it disagrees with former party chief Sonia Gandhi, whose appeal helped commute Nalini’s death sentence in 2000.

(With agency inputs)

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