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Rajiv Gandhi case: Convicts happy with release decision

Posted on Feb 19 2014 | IANS

Chennai, Feb 19 : The three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case lodged in the Vellore prison were a happier lot Wednesday on hearing the Tamil Nadu government's decision to release them, said a jail official.

The three who are in the Vellore prison, about 100 km from the state capital Chennai, are V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu and T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan.

"They are more happy today (Wednesday) than they were yesterday. They will be released once we get the orders as no major procedure is involved. Their cumulative wages for the work they did in the jail may not be a significant amount," a prison official, preferring anonymity, told IANS.

The Supreme Court Tuesday commuted their death sentence on the grounds of inordinate delay in deciding their mercy petition.

Former prime minister Gandhi was killed May 21, 1991. The conspirators were convicted by a TADA court in January 1998 and were awarded death sentence. Upon appeal, the apex court confirmed death for four, commuted the sentence for three and released 19 others.

The death sentence of Nalini, wife of Murugan, was commuted some years back on her mercy petition.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced Wednesday that seven people convicted in the case will be freed. The remaining three convicts are Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Jayakumar.

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