SC blocks release of for­mer PM Ra­jiv Gandhi’s killers

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu can­not uni­lat­er­ally free the seven con­victs serv­ing life sen­tence for for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Ra­jiv Gandhi’s as­sas­si­na­tion, the Supreme Court ruled on Wed­nes­day, a de­ci­sion that comes as a set­back for the state’s J Jay­alalithaa gov­ern­ment.

A five-judge con­sti­tu­tion bench headed by Chief Jus­tice of In­dia HL Dattu said in in­stances where a cen­tral agency such as the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI) or Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) is pros­e­cut­ing the case, a state gov­ern­ment can­not shorten the con­victs’ sen­tences with­out the Cen­tre’s ap­proval.

The Supreme Court also held that in cases of heinous crimes such as mass mur­der or terror at­tacks, where death penalty is not awarded but im­pris­on­ment of 14 years is con­sid­ered in­ad­e­quate, courts can keep a per­son in jail with­out the ben­e­fit of re­mis­sion.

CON­TIN­UED ON P6

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