Ten days after their release, Congress has said it will file a fresh review application challenging the freeing of convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The grand old party had earlier termed the release of the killers as “unfortunate” and “unacceptable”.
The Centre, too, had on Friday filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking it to review the order, after the six people, including a woman, were released from prison in Tamil Nadu.
The BJP-ruled Centre and the Congress are on the same side in this emotive political issue.
The Centre contended that the release of the convicts was cleared without it being given an adequate hearing which has led to an “admitted and glaring breach of principles of natural justice and has, in fact, resulted into miscarriage of justice”.
Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi’s widow, had supported the death sentence of four convicts being commuted. Their daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had also met one of the accused and forgiven her. However, the party leadership has disagreed with the Gandhis and reacted strongly.
“The decision of the Supreme Court to free the remaining killers of former PM Rajiv Gandhi is totally unacceptable and completely erroneous,” the party had said.
Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber while campaigning for an election on behalf of the Congress party in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur in May 1991. Seven people were sentenced to life in the case.
The court had said its decision was based on the prisoners’ good behaviour and the release in May of AG Perarivalan, another person convicted in the case, saying that he was 19 years old at the time of arrest and had been jailed for more than 30 years, with 29 of those in solitary confinement.