THE Congress party has decided to seek a review of the Supreme Court decision to release six convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, senior party leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said on Monday. “We are yet to decide on the modalities -- whether we will intervene in the Central Government’s review application or intervene otherwise,” Singhvi told PTI.
This decision has come despite the “forgiveness” granted to killers of the former PM by the Gandhi family. On various occasions, Sonia Gandhi, widow of Rajiv Gandhi and children Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi had either verbally or in writing granted forgiveness to Rajiv’s killers and called for the remission of their punishment,
In 1999, Sonia, then Congress party president, wrote a letter to then President K R Narayanan asking him to commute the capital punishment awarded to the three men and Murugan’s wife, Nalini. Rahul Gandhi, too, in his interaction with the students of a college in Puducherry in 2019, had forgiven his father’s killer and had no feelings of “anger or hatred” against them.
The Supreme Court on November 11 directed the premature release of the six, including Nalini Sriharan and R P Ravichandran, serving life term in the case. It noted that the Tamil Nadu Government has recommended remission of their sentence. Besides Nalini and Ravichandran, the four others released were Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar. Contrary to the stand taken by the Gandhi family, the Congress, in principle, has decided to seek a review of the apex court decision.
“A fresh review application challenging the Supreme Court decision to release the convicts on the grounds set out in the order will be filed on behalf of the party in the next few days,” a party insider said.
The Central Government on Thursday had moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its order for premature release of six convicts in the Rajiv assassination case. The Centre said the order
granting remission to the convicts, who had assassinated the former Prime Minister, was passed without affording it adequate opportunity for hearing despite it being a necessary party to the case.
The Government last week moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its order for the premature release of the convicts in the case. The Centre had said the order granting remission to the convicts, who had assassinated the former Prime Minister, was passed without affording it adequate opportunity for hearing despite it being a necessary party to the case. It is to be noted that the Tamil Nadu Government, then led by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), had recommended early release of the convicts to then Governor Banwarilal Purohit in 2018 who did not act on the recommendation.