NEW DELHI: The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday reiterated its stand before the Supreme Court to allow the Rajiv Gandhi assassins to go free. It said, if Godse’s brother could be released in the Mahatma Gandhi assassination case, why should the doors be closed for these people.
“Not far from this court long time ago an old man was engaged in the freedom struggle. Somebody still decided to kill the man -Mahatma Gandhi. The conspirator in the case Gopal Vinayak Godse was let off after 16 years. Nobody questioned that, why not these people (seven convicts in Rajiv case),” senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, counsel for Tamil Nadu told a five-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu.
Godse was released in October 1964 but rearrested in another case to be out of jail finally in 1965.
Dwivedi also cited the assassination of former US President Abraham Lincoln in which out of eight convicts, four were hanged, one died in jail while three others were pardoned.
He said in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case the main conspirator - Velupillai Prabhakaran - was never brought to justice in an Indian court. However it is known to all that later his entire family was wiped out and even his minor son was not spared.
“There is an age-old link between the Jaffna Tamils and Indian Tamils,” he submitted to drive a point that the seven life convicts should be freed.
Among the seven convicts, V Sriharan alias Murugan, Santhan, Robert Pious and Jaya Kumar are Sri Lankan nationals, while the woman convict Nalini, Ravichandran and Arivu are Indians.