SC blocks release of former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s killers
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.
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