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Rajiv: Supreme Court stays release of 4 killers

Posted on Feb 27 2014 | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 27 : The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Tamil Nadu government not to release four other convicts in the assassination case of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The apex court asked the Tamil Nadu government not to "rush" on the matter.

The case will be next heard on Mar 6.

The Centre had earlier moved the Supreme Court against the release of the four killers.

The Supreme Court on Feb 20 restrained the Tamil Nadu government from releasing three killers involved in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.

The apex court stayed the release of AG Perarivalan alias Arivu, Sriharan alias Murugan and T Suthentiraraja alias Santhan.

However, the court did not stay the release of four other convicts in the case.

The Supreme Court will hear the case again on Mar 6.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government moved the Supreme Court against the release of all the seven convicts in the case.

The Centre filed a petition before the Chief Justice of India, P Sathasivam.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's Cabinet met on Feb 19 morning and decided to free the seven convicts a day after the court had left it to the state government to grant them remission.

The convicts, to be freed, included AG Perarivalan, Nalini, Santhan, Murugan, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran.

The Supreme Court on Feb 18 commuted the death sentence of Rajiv Gandhi's killers to life in prison.

The three convicts, Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, had sought the commutation of their death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam pronounced the verdict and granted them mercy.

Santhan, Perarivalan and Murugan are in prison for over two decades.

The other one to be freed - Murugan's wife Nalini Sriharan's death sentence had been commuted earlier on the intervention of Rajiv Gandhi's widow, Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The Centre had earlier opposed commuting their death sentence to life imprisonment.

Rajiv Gandhi, the sixth Prime Minister of India, was killed at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, India on 21 May 1991. At least 14 others were also killed.

His assassination was carried out by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, also known as Dhanu, who was found after investigations to be a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber.

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