NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the curative petition of the Centre filed against the commutation of death penalty into life imprisonment of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, giving hope for their release.
“We have gone through the curative petitions and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this court in (Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra & Another, reported in 2002 (4) SCC 388). Hence, the curative petitions are dismissed,” a five- judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said.
The decision of the bench came on the curative pleas filed by the erstwhile UPA government against the dismissal of the review petitions.
Former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber during an election campaign at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu in 1991 after he dispatched Indian troops to Sri Lanka to fight against the separatist militants.
A total of 26 people were found guilty of conspiring to kill Rajiv Gandhi, but 19 were later acquitted.
The review pleas, challenging the commutation of death penalty of Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, were dismissed by the court in February last on the ground of 11-year delay in deciding their mercy pleas.
The Centre’s curative petition said that the trio did not deserve any mercy and the victims in the assassination case were not heard before the death penalty was commuted.