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SC verdict today on remission of Rajiv killers’ sentences

The judgment will pronounce the law on whether State governments have the power of remission in cases where Central agencies such as the CBI are the prosecutor.

The Supreme Court will, on Wednesday, deliver its verdict on the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to remit the life sentences of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The judgment will also settle the law on the power of State governments to remit sentences, especially of prisoners condemned to death whose sentences have been commuted to life. A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by CJI H.L. Dattu, for whom it is the last working day, will authoritatively answer legal questions in their judgment, including the scope of the executive’s power of remission.

The judgment will pronounce the law on whether State governments have the power of remission in cases where Central agencies such as the CBI are the prosecutor.

The judgment of the Constitution Bench will decide whether the sentence of a prisoner, whose death penalty has been commuted to life, can be remitted by the government.

The Bench will also decide whether life imprisonment meant jail term for the rest of life or a convict has a right to claim remission.

The Centre had said it could not allow Tamil Nadu to “tinker” with the Supreme Court judgment and use its power of remission to release seven convicts whose death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment. The court had, on February 20, 2014, stayed the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to release three convicts — Murugan, Santhan and Arivu — whose death sentences were commuted to life term by it on February 18. The court had, later on, also stayed the release of four other convicts, Nalini, Robert Pius, Jayakumar, and Ravichandran, in the case.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:05:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-verdict-today-on-remission-of-rajiv-killers-sentences/article7938110.ece

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