In its plea before the Supreme Court on Monday, the Centre said that soon after the court stayed the release of three persons whose death sentences in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case had been commuted, it sent a letter to the Tamil Nadu government, asking that the release be kept in abeyance.

On February 21, it sent another letter, setting forth the legal position and stating that releasing the seven convicts on remission would be contrary to the procedure established by law.

It said Tamil Nadu was not the appropriate government to consider remission as mandated under Section 435 of the Cr. PC. The State government’s powers had been ousted by virtue of the fact that the matter was investigated by the CBI and for offences on the Central List, such as the Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act, the Foreigners Act, the Wireless Telegraphy Act and the Passport Act. Hence, there was no occasion for the State to consider grant of remission to the seven convicts.

It added that at no point of time had the convicts expressed any remorse for their act, and the consideration of remission was made by the State without regard to the provisions of the Cr. PC.

Stating that this was not a fit case for remission, the Centre sought quashing of the February 19 order of the Tamil Nadu government.

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