The Supreme Court decision to refer the issue of remission of death sentence of Rajiv Gandhi killers to a Constitution Bench has disappointed family members of the incarcerated who have been waiting for a favourable order for their release.
“I don’t know what to say now” was the instant reaction of Arputhammal, mother of G Perarivalan, who has been engaged in a long legal battle to see her son out of jail.
The Supreme Court has referred the matter on remission of life imprisonment of seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to a Constitution Bench and said its interim order staying the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to free them will continue.
“I was eagerly awaiting the verdict today. I thought I will be able to meet you (press) with happiness. We have fought for 23 years”, she said.
“I don’t know how long I would have to suffer further”, she said.
DMK leader Selvaganapathy said, “I find no reason why the case should be referred to a Constitution Bench as no Constitution issue is involved in this case. The Supreme Court must have given its verdict. This case is different. Law is equal for all”.
Perarivalan’s relative P Leela too said she was deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court order.
The Tamil Nadu government announced on February 19 its decision to release Rajiv killers, which was challenged by the Government the next day and the Supreme Court stayed their release.
Keywords: Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, death row convicts, convicts plea, Rajiv killers' plea, Supreme Court, Tamil Nadu government, convicts release, Perarivalan, Santhan, Murugan, Tamil Nadu politics, Constitution Bench, Arputhammal, judicial delay