The Congress party has reacted strongly to the Supreme Court’s decision of releasing all six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Congress has dubbed the order as “totally unacceptable”, and “deeply erroneous”.
The party said that it was most unfortunate that the Supreme Court has not acted in consonance with the spirit of India on this issue.
In a statement, Congress General Secretary and in- charge of Communications Jairam Ramesh said, “The decision of the Supreme Court to free the remaining killers of former PM Rajiv Gandhi is totally unacceptable and completely erroneous.”
He said that the Congress 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,” the Rajya Sabha MP added.
Abhishek Singhvi, National Spokesperson of Congress and MP said, “Today the Supreme Court, ordered the release of six of the convicts, who had carried out the brutal, pre-meditated and heinous assassination of our former Prime Minister, the late Shri Rajiv Gandhi. This move has shocked the nation’s conscience and has invited serious concern and criticism from all sides of the political spectrum.”
Singhvi pointed the problems with the SC’s decision. “First, it sends a message to the world, that we extend to these killers such benefits forgetting the nature of their crime.They murdered, in cold blood and by deliberate design, a former Prime Minister,”
“The Supreme Court justified its decision-stating, among other things, that the release was recommended by the State Government of Tami lNadu. However, the Supreme Court has the final word and, in our humble opinion, could have considered the matter at greater length. The fact that it did not do so is worrying,” Singhvi countered.
“We shall pursue appropriate legal remedies to seek the reversal of this decision. We owe it not only to the people of this country but also to the Supreme Court and the legacy it has built,” Singhvi added.
The remarks of senior Congress leaders came after the Apex court on Friday ordered that all six convicts in the assassination case of Rajiv Gandhi have been set free.
The convicts — Nalini, Ravichandran, Jayakumar, Robert Pais, Jayakumar and Santhan — were originally sentenced to death. Subsequently, it was changed to life imprisonment.
The court noted that the Tamil Nadu cabinet had recommended their release on September 9, 2018. Now the Governor will have to comply to this opinion, before whom their remission plea was pending.
All convicts have already spent three decades in jail serving their sentence. During this period they had spent time studying and earning degrees.
All the convicts have been engaged in a long battle seeking their early release.
The convicts had challenged the delay, noting that co-accused, A. G. Perarivalan, was released by the apex court in May. They had sought the same consideration.
In June, the Madras Hight Court, however, had rejected a writ petition filed by Nalini and Ravichandran seeking premature release.
He was assassinated on May 21, 1991, in Tamil Nadu.
On May 21, 1991, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Tamil Nadu at a political rally in Sriperumbudur, a village approximately 40 km from Chennai while campaigning for Sriperumbudur LS Congress candidate by a woman suicide bomber identified as Dhanu. Fourteen others including Rajiv Gandhi were killed.
Rajiv Gandhi was campaigning for the upcoming elections with G.K Moonpanar in India’s Southern states.
As per the supreme court, the assassination was committed due to the personal animosity of theLTTE chief Prabhakaran against Rajiv Gandhi for sending Indian peacekeeping force to Sri Lanka.