NEW DELHI: Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Wednesday dubbed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaithaa’s demand for the release of seven convicts in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case as ‘genuine’ and said the Centre must take an appropriate decision on this as all accused have spent more than 20 years in jail.
Raja told ANI that the Centre must take due cognisance of the same and reopen the case.
“It is a genuine case as far as Tamil Nadu people are concerned. The convicts have spent long time in jail, more than 20 years they have spent in jail and I think even going by law and all other considerations there is nothing wrong in reopening that issue and considering the request made by the Tamil Nadu government as many major political parties in the state have made similar request,” Raja said.
“Nobody wants to go in to the merits of the case but the point is they have spent more than 20 years in jail, each one of them and it will not be correct to keep them convicted. The Centre must take an appropriate decision on this,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and the Congress Party hailed the Centre for rejecting Jayalaithaa’s request.
The Centre has rejected the Tamil Nadu Government’s proposal to release the seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case.
This is the second time in two years that the state has written to the Centre seeking its views on its decision to remit their sentence.
The first letter was sent during the UPA government's tenure in February 2014.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had earlier told the Tamil Nadu Government that it has no authority to release the prisoners since the matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court.