New Delhi, Feb 4 IBNS | 11 months ago

The Centre on Tuesday opposed commuting the death sentence of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's killers to life imprisonment.

"There was a delay by the government in deciding the mercy plea, but it not unexplainable or inordinate delay. The President's office can not be blamed for this," Attorney General GE Vahanvati was quoted as saying to the Supreme Court.

The apex court reserved its judgement in the case.

Last year, M Karunanidhi's Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had said they want Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to ensure that the death sentence of three convicts - Santhan, Perarivalan and Murugan - involved in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, is commuted to lifer.

A group of DMK MPs had met Singh and submitted a memorandum where they urged him to recommend President Pranab Mukherjee for commutation of the convicts' death sentence to life imprisonment.

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

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.

Gandhi's 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.

(Posted on 04-02-2014)

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