Legal experts are unanimous that the Tamil Nadu government cannot take a unilateral decision to order the release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case without the “effective consultation” of the Union government.

Eminent constitutional lawyer P.P. Rao said, “The case was investigated by the CBI under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, making consultation with the Centre mandatory.”

A top government law officer said the State would have to set up an advisory board to consider remission. There cannot be an automatic release.

Senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi said the prisoners were entitled to be released “if their behaviour in jail has been good and there is nothing adverse”.

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