TN Governor has no power to release Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts: Officials

NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has no power to release the seven convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case as recommended by the state Government and will have to consult the Centre as per law, officials said Tuesday.

Since the investigation into the assassination was carried out by a CBI-led team, the Governor will have to consult with the Central Government before he takes a decision to remit or commute the sentence of the seven convicts, a Home Ministry official said.

The AIADMK Government in Tamil Nadu had on Sunday recommended to the Governor to release the convicts, a move hailed by most political parties in the State.

The CBI-led Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), probing the larger conspiracy aspect behind the assassination, had a few months ago conveyed to the Supreme Court that the investigation into the case was “still open” and letters rogatory have been issued to different countries, including Sri Lanka, where some persons required to be investigated were currently residing.

Under the Section 435 in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the State Government will have to act only after consultation with the Central Government to remit or commute a sentence. (AGENCIES)