‘Unacceptable & Erroneous’: Congress Slams Supreme Court’s Decision To Release Rajiv Gandhi Killers
New Delhi: The Congress launched a scathing criticism of the Supreme Court after the apex court on Friday ordered the release of six killers convicted in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Nalini Sriharan, RP Ravichandran and four other convicts will now walk free after spending 31 years in jail. They were serving life terms.
Congress described the order as ‘erroneous’ and ‘unacceptable’.
“The decision of the Supreme Court to free the remaining killers of former PM Rajiv Gandhi is totally unacceptable and completely erroneous. The Congress party criticises it clearly and finds it wholly untenable… It is most unfortunate that the Supreme Court has not acted in consonance with the spirit of India on this issue,” Jairam Ramesh, Congress MP and General Secretary in charge of communications, tweeted.
Of the released convicts, three were Sri Lankan nationals — Robert Payas, Jeyakumar and Murugan.
Rajiv was assassinated on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur by a female suicide bomber of Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had used its extraordinary powers to free a seventh convict, AG Perarivalan.
A bench of Justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna said the judgement in the case of Perarivalan is equally applicable to the six convicts reprieved today.
Seven convicts were sentenced to death for their role in the killing of Rajiv. In 2000, Nalini’s sentence was reduced to life term in prison on the intervention of Rajiv’s wife Sonia Gandhi.
The sentence of six remaining convicts was also commuted in 2014.