The Supreme Court Tuesday commuted the death sentence of the three assassins of Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment, holding that the 11-year long delay in deciding their mercy petition had a dehumanising effect on them.
The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam said the delay was not only inordinate but also unreasonable and unexplained.
The court said that life imprisonment would mean life in jail till end.
Rajiv Gandhi was killed in 1991. His assassins were convicted by a TADA court in January 1998 and were awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the apex court May 11, 1999.
The three assassins - V Sriharan alias Murugan, Arivu and T Suthendraraja alias Santhan - sought the commutation of their death sentence to life imprisonment on account of the inordinate delay of nearly 11-years in deciding their mercy petitions.