Reject Rajiv killers’ mercy plea: Centre to SC

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14gvt The government Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to reject the plea by three Rajiv Gandhi assassins seeking commutation of their death sentence to life, saying that they suffered no agony or dehumanisation during 11 years when their mercy petition was pending with the president.

Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati told an apex court bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh that the petition by the Rajiv Gandhi assassins was not covered by Jan 21 verdict of the apex court, which said that inordinate, unexplained, unreasonable delay was a ground for commuting death sentence into life imprisonment.

Vahanvati told the court that all through these 11 years, these three assassins were living a full life by holding music shows, art exhibitions and other recreational activities in the jail.

He also said that in the mercy petition to the president filed April 26, 2000, there was not even an iota of remorse for their action of killing former prime minister and they even justified it.

He said that this absence of remorse assumes serious connotation because their mercy petition to the president was made after their similar plea was rejected by the Tamil Nadu governor. Rajiv Gandhi was killed in 1991.

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