The Tamil Nadu government has questioned whether the Union Government could rush to the Supreme Court complaining about any violation of fundamental rights against the State’s decision to grant remission to convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. It could not file a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution “as fundamental rights are guaranteed to citizens, and not to the government,” the State said.

“This writ petition is a complete abuse of the process of law. It does not even make out any infringement on fundamental rights of any citizen, even if it is assumed that it has approached this court in the capacity of parens patriae [under a doctrine that grants the inherent power and authority to the state to protect persons who are unable to act on their own behalf].”

The State government’s counter-affidavit said: “It is only when the Tamil Nadu government passes an order of release under either Article 161 or Sections 432 and 433 of CrPC, will the Union of India have an imaginary cause for voicing their grievance.”

The State also pointed out that all the seven accused were acquitted of TADA offences and they had already undergone the period of sentence for offences under the Arms Act and other Central laws. Thus, “the remission granted under Section 432 was confined to offences under the Indian Penal Code with respect to which the executive power vests only in the State.”

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