Rajiv Gandhi assassination:To abide by Supreme Court order is our constitutional responsibility, says Rajnath

NEW DELHI(PTI): The Centre on Thursday said it was examining the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to remit the sentence of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case but made it clear that abiding by Supreme Court’s order on the issue is its constitutional responsibility.

Nalini (left) and Perarivalan, two of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. File photos: PTI, C. Venkatachalapathy

“We have received a letter from the Tamil Nadu government yesterday and we are examining it. But I want to state about the accused that the Supreme Court has given a verdict and to abide by its order is our constitutional responsibility, not only constitutional but also moral responsibility,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour.

Mr. Singh’s statement came a day after the Tamil Nadu government said it had decided to remit the sentence of life imprisonment of all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and release them and sought the Centre’s views on the move.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters that the Congress would oppose the State government’s decision.

“We don’t agree with the Tamil Nadu government. The Supreme Court has already rejected this plea of several organisations and there is no question of supporting such a move. As a party, we will definitely oppose this move of the Tamil Nadu government,” he said.



February 18, 2014

SC commutes the death sentences of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan


February 19, 2014

The Tamil Nadu government announces it will release all seven convicts in the case; writes to the Centre for its views in three days.


February 20, 2014

Centre moves the Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu’s decision; the SC stays TN’s move to release the convicts.


April 25, 2014

The Supreme Court frames seven constitutional questions for the consideration of a five-judge bench.


December 2, 2015

Supreme Court holds that it the Centre, and not the State, that has “primacy” in deciding if persons convicted in matters of the CBI should be released on remission.