Decision on Rajiv’s killers to be taken in fair manner: TN Governor

Chennai, Sep 15: The decision on release of seven convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case will be taken in a just and fair manner, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s office said in a statement here on Saturday.

The statement also denied media reports about making a reference to the Union Home Ministry by Governor Purohit.

It is clarified that no reference has been made to the Ministry of Home Affairs in the matter. The case is a complex one and involves the examination of legal, administrative and constitutional issues, the Raj Bhavan statement said.

The records which are voluminous are being received from the state government, with the connected judgments having been handed over to Raj Bhavan on 14/09/2018 only. All efforts will be taken to process the papers scrupulously. Necessary consultation may be carried out, when required, in due course. The decision will be taken in a just and fair manner and in accordance with the Constitution, the statement added.

On September 9, the Tamil Nadu government decided to recommend to Governor Purohit the release of seven convicts serving life term for the assassination of Gandhi.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.

Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar told reporters on that day the decision was taken after the Supreme Court asked Purohit to consider the mercy petition of A.G. Perarivalan, serving life term for the 1991 assassination of Gandhi, for release under Article 161 of the Constitution.

Jayakumar said though the apex court had given its order in the petition filed by Perarivalan, the state government had decided to recommend to the Governor the issue of his release as well as six other convicts as they had also sent their mercy petitions.

The other six are V. Sriharan alais Murugan, T. Suthendraraja alais Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini Sriharan, wife of Sriharan. They include both Indians and Sri Lankans.

All seven have been in prison since 1991, the year a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew up Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.

Jayakumar said the Supreme Court is the highest court and the cabinet decision was taken based on its decision.

He said the Governor has to agree with the Cabinet decision.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was blamed for the assassination of Gandhi. The Sri Lankan military crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

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