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Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Centre moves SC seeking review of its order on per-mature release of six convicts
 
New Delhi: The Central government approached the Supreme Court and filed a review petition against the November 11 order allowing the release of all convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, saying that it didn't get the chance to argue the case and the SC order is legally flawed.

"Granting remission to terrorist of foreign nation, who had been duly convicted in accordance with the law of land for gruesome offence of assassinating the former Prime Minister of the Country, is a matter which has international ramification and therefore falls squarely within the sovereign powers of the Union of India,” the Centre, in its review petition, filed before the Supreme Court, revealed.

The Centre said that it didn't get the chance to argue the case and the SC order is legally flawed, and thereby the Supreme Court should consider afresh and modify its order.

Approaching the apex court the Centre contended that the order was passed without hearing it.

On November 11, the Supreme Court ordered the release of six convicts including Nalini Sriharan and RP Ravichandran, who were serving life imprisonment in connection with the assassination in the case.

A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice BR Gavai and also comprising Justice BV Nagarathna passed the order while taking into consideration the state of Tamil Nadu government's order of releasing the six convicts pre maturely, and also good conduct of all the six convicts in the prison.

The apex court had noted that they had been behind bars for a very long period.

Seeking review of the top court’s order, the Centre said, “The order granting remission to the convicts who had assassinated the former Prime Minister of the country was passed without affording an adequate opportunity of hearing to Union of India.”

It said the Central government was not made party in the case.

“No application was ever filed by the petitioners formally impleading Union of India as party respondent. This procedural lapse on the part of the petitioners resulted in non-participation of Union of India in subsequent hearings of the case,” it added.

Furthermore, it is extremely crucial to mention here that out of the six convicts who have been granted remission, four are Sri Lankan Nationals, said the plea.

The Supreme Court’s November 11 order “being violative of principles of natural justice and wreaked with glaring and manifest errors apparent on the face of record, keeping in view the international ramifications it entails, there is also substantial cause in the matter warranting its review and an open hearing, wherein, Union of India could be afforded an opportunity to place the correct and germane facts before this Court to assist it to arrive at a just and correct decision in the matter i.e. why the six convicts were not entitled for any relief by this Court,” the Centre further stated.

The top court in it’s order noted that Nalini has been behind bars for over three decades and her conduct has also been satisfactory. She has a PG diploma in Computer Application and Ravichandran's conduct has also been found to be satisfactory and he has undertaken various studies during his incarceration including a PG diploma in Arts.

Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally.


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