Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit dismissed media reports that he had forwarded the state government’s recommendation to free the killers of Rajiv Gandhi to the government of India on Saturday.
“A section of media has been reporting that in the matter of the release of the convicted prisoners undergoing life imprisonment for involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, a reference has been made to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India,” a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan said. “It is clarified that no reference has been made to the Ministry of Home Affairs on the matter. The case is a complex one and involves the examination of legal, administrative and constitutional issues.”
A decision on the matter would be taken in a “just and fair manner” in accordance with the Constitution of India, the statement added.
The Raj Bhavan said it was still receiving records from the Palaniswami Government in connection with the issue, and court judgments on related matters were handed over to it only on September 14.
“All efforts will be taken to process the papers scrupulously. Necessary consultation may be carried out, when required, in due course. The decision will be taken in a just and fair manner and in accordance with the Constitution,” it added.
Later, responding to a mercy petition filed by a convict before the Supreme Court of India, the Union Home Ministry of India said that showing leniency to those accused of such a “heinous and brutal crime” would “set a very dangerous precedent and lead to international ramifications by other such criminals in the future”.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Cabinet, in a passing resolution, recommended the release of the seven convicts in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case after the Supreme Court of India passed the decision onto the hands of the Governor.
The proposal is all set to be received by the the office of Governor Banwarilal Purohit. The convicts, namely, V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santham, A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, P Ravichandaran and Nalini have been in jail for the past 25 years.
“Tamil Nadu cabinet recommends release of seven convicts of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The recommendation will be sent to the TN governor immediately,” state minister D Jayakumar said, ANI reported.