Chennai, May 16 (IANS) PMK founder S. Ramadoss on Thursday said the Tamil Nadu government should take steps to release the seven persons convicted in connection with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Ramadoss also accused the Modi government of following different standards when it came to releasing Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and the seven convicts in the Gandhi assassination case.
The seven convicts are Perarivalan, Murugan, Nalini, Shanthan, Ravichandran, Jayakumar and Robert Pyas.
Gandhi was assassinated by a Sri Lankan Tamil suicide bomber at an election rally near Chennai in May 1991. The seven, who are Indians or Sri Lankans, were said to be involved in the crime.
In a statement, Ramadoss said the Tamil Nadu government should exert pressure on Governor Banwarilal Purohit to release the seven.
If the Governor does not order their release, then the state government should take steps to release them under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Ramadoss said it had come to light that Dutt was released by the Maharashtra government without getting the central government’s nod though the actor was convicted under a central government law for the Mumbai serial blasts.
He said that as per the order of a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in 2015, only the central government has the power to reduce the sentence if a person is convicted under a central law.
The PMK founder said if Dutt was jailed under the Arms Act for illegal possession of a gun, then it is only the central government which had the power to reduce his jail term.
But based on the reply for a question raised by Perarivalan under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Pune jail where Dutt was imprisoned, the actor was released early because of his good conduct, Ramadoss said.
The PMK leader said the apex court has ordered that the seven convicts can be released based on the recommendation of the Tamil Nadu cabinet.
It is more than 250 days since the cabinet recommended this to Governor Purohit, he said.