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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Govt to abide by SC decision in Rajiv Gandhi case: Sibal

PTI  New Delhi, February 19, 2014
First Published: 13:05 IST(19/2/2014) | Last Updated: 13:07 IST(19/2/2014)

Law minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said government would abide by Supreme Court's decision commuting death penalty of convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, but took a jibe at BJP for not uttering a word on the issue while it had bayed for Afzal Guru's blood.

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"They (BJP) were baying for the blood of Afzal Guru and I am surprised that when it comes to other assassins, they don't even utter a word. I think BJP has something to answer to," he told reporters, questioning the silence of the opposition party over the issue.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam had yesterday commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan on the ground of a delay of nearly 11 years in deciding their mercy petitions despite the Centre's plea against any relief to them.

"Those who assassinated Rajiv Gandhi should not be given any relief; that is the position of the Attorney General. Now the court has rendered a decision. We must naturally abide by it. We may or may not agree with it but we must abide by it," Sibal said.

Guru, who was convicted in Parliament attack case and awarded death sentence, was hanged last year. BJP had raised the issue of "delay" in his hanging, accusing the Centre of being "soft on terror".

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