Rajiv Gandhi killers to remain in jail

The Supreme Court on Friday referred the matter on remission of life imprisonment of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to a constitution bench and said its interim order staying the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to free them will continue. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said that the petition filed by the Centre, challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to remit the sentences, will be decided by the Constitution Bench and framed seven questions to be decided by it. It was Sathasivam’s last working day as the CJI. The SC said that the Constitution Bench, which will take up the matter within three months, will also decide whether the sentence of a prisoner, whose death penalty has been commuted to life, can be remitted by the government. Reacting to the SC decision, CPI leader D Raja said the apex is right in asking the constitutional bench to decide on sensitive issues like the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. ‘SC has tried to make it clear how both the state and central governments should share powers. Keeping all these views in mind, the SC has rightly asked the constitutional bench to state its position within three months,’ Raja said.
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