Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Tuesday requested President Ram Nath Kovind to direct the immediate release of the seven Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts by remitting their life sentences as recommended by the state government on September 9, 2018.
In his letter to President Kovind, Stalin said his party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), has been demanding the early release of S. Nalini, Murugan, Santhan, A.G. Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, and P. Ravichandran, as they have undergone the agony of imprisonment for about three decades.
Stalin also highlighted the commutation of the original death sentence of Nalini under Article 161 of the Constitution and added that the Supreme Court also commuted the death sentence of three others to life imprisonment.
“The majority of political parties in Tamil Nadu have been requesting for the remission of the remainder of their sentence and for the immediate release of all the seven convicts as they have been incarcerated for about three decades. It is also the will of the people of Tamil Nadu,” said Stalin.
The seven convicts were arrested in 1991 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Several resolutions have been passed by the state Assembly to release them. Releasing the convicts was also part of the DMK manifesto this year.
Stalin added that in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a need to decongest prisons. “These seven persons have already suffered untold hardship and agony in the past three decades and have paid a heavy price. There has already been an inordinate delay in the consideration of their pleas for remission. In the present circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, Courts are also recognising the need to decongest prisons,” he stated in the letter.DIPR-P.N.No_.004-Honble-CM-DO-Letter-to-Honble-President-Date-20.05.2021