Madras High Court adjourns plea of Rajiv Gandhi case convicts seeking early release

In a previous hearing, the Centre too had argued against the premature release of both Payas and Jayakumar.

Published: 22nd August 2017 09:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2017 09:56 PM   |  A+A-

Former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi (File | EPS)

By PTI

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court today posted for October 3 the hearing on petitions filed by two lifers in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case seeking premature release.

A division bench, comprising Justice A Selvam and Justice Pon Kalaiyarasan, posted the matter for next hearing after the state government submitted that a similar plea was pending before the Supreme Court.

The state government's decision of 2014 to set free all seven convicts in the case was opposed by the Central government and the matter is pending in the Supreme Court.

The matter relates to petitions filed by a Sri Lankan national B Robert Payas and Jayakumar, both convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

In their petitions, filed years ago, the duo have sought inclusion of their names in a list of prisoners prepared by the state government proposing their premature release and the matter is pending.

During the previous hearing on August 18, Additional Public Prosecutor V M R Rajendran had submitted that the government will submit a fresh counter affidavit detailing its present stand.

Today, when the matter came up, the government said an identical plea seeking premature release was pending before the apex court.

In a previous hearing, the Centre too had argued against the premature release of both Payas and Jayakumar.

It had cited the apex court's ruling that life sentence meant imprisonment for the entire life of a person.

The Union government had also referred to the state government's proposal to remit the life sentences and release all seven convicts, including the two petitioners.

It had challenged it and the matter was pending in the top court.

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