'UPA Delayed Noose for Convicts in Rajiv Case' - The New Indian Express

'UPA Delayed Noose for Convicts in Rajiv Case'

Published: 21st February 2014 07:49 AM

Last Updated: 21st February 2014 08:21 AM

The chief investigating officer of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case blamed the UPA Government for delaying the execution of seven death convicts, whose mercy pleas were kept pending for long.

K Ragothaman, who spent nearly 10 years joining the dots to expose the conspiracy behind the brutal killing of the former Prime Minister in a human bomb attack, said that even if all the accused were freed, at least four of them would have to be detained in a refugee camp under the Foreigner Act as they were Sri Lankan Tamils and were convicted as foreign terrorists.

“What did Sonia Gandhi and the UPA Government do for mercy petition when they came to power in 2004? The file was not even moved from government office. Even after the January 21 judgment, they did not file a review petition and waited till the last moment to react. I think keeping mercy pleas pending for so many years was the greatest injustice to the soul of Rajiv Gandhi,” he said.

He also questioned the jurisdiction of the state government adding that since the terror case was investigated by the CBI, any such order related to relief or release of death row convicts was impossible without the Centre’s consent.

“The case was investigated by the CBI under a central law and any decision on commutation of sentence has to be done through the Centre’s consultation,” Ragothaman added. All the terrorists involved were convicted by a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court in January 1998. They were awarded death sentence which was subsequently confirmed by the Supreme Court in May 1999.

Timeline of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case:

 

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