Chennai, Nov 5 (IANS) DMK President M.K. Stalin on Thursday pointed out to Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit that the state cabinet’s recommendation to release seven convicts in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case which has been pending for two years in his office reflects poorly on the state.
Stalin in a letter to Purohit said: “The fact that the recommendation of the state cabinet has been kept pending for over 2 years by your office reflects poorly on the state and gives the impression that the state is not run in accordance with law.”
Stalin, the leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, said the DMK has been continuously demanding the early release of seven convicts — Nalini, V Sriharan alias Murugan, Santhan, A.G. Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P. Ravichandran — convicted for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi as they have been in jail for about three decades.
“However, the AIADMK government did not recommend for their release. Subsequently, on the direction of the Supreme Court and on the pressure exerted by DMK, the Cabinet of the State Government of Tamil Nadu had recommended to His Excellency on 9.9.2018 for the remission of the rest of the sentence for all 7 convicts and early release and forwarded the recommendation of the same to Your Excellency,” Stalin said.
Pointing out the powers of the Governor under Article 161 of the Constitution to suspend, remit or commute any sentence of a person convicted of an offence under any law to which the power of the State extends, Stalin said this important recommendation has been kept pending for over two years which has been causing grave and irreparable hardship to the 7 convicts.
“It is trite in law that a Constitutional authority performs his duty within a reasonable timeframe. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has, in many cases, held that undue delay in exercising powers under the Constitution is illegal and the Court may then issue directions to the authority,” Stalin said.
Stalin requested Purohit to accept the recommendation of the state cabinet dated 9.9.2018 and remit the life sentence of all the seven convicts and order their release immediately.