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Centre cites SC to dodge Rajiv killers’ release issue in House

Home minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre is examining Tamil Nadu government’s plea seeking the release of those linked to the assassination Rajiv Gandhi.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2016 00:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajiv Gandhi,Tamil Nadu,Mallikarjun Kharge
Home minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre would abide by the Supreme Court’s order over releasing Rajiv Gandhi’s killers.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

The NDA government on Thursday seemed disinclined to support the Tamil Nadu government’s move to release former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s killers.

Responding to the Congress’ protest against the issue in Parliament, home minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre would abide by the Supreme Court’s order.

In December last year, the Supreme Court had blocked the state government’s order to release three convicts. The apex court said the state had no unilateral power to decide remission for convicts of heinous crimes without consultation with the Centre in cases where a central agency investigated the matter.

“We received a letter from the Tamil Nadu government yesterday (on Wednesday) and are examining it. But I want to state about the accused that the Supreme Court has given a verdict and to abide by its order is our constitutional responsibility; not only constitutional, but also moral responsibility,” Singh said in the Lok Sabha.

Earlier in the day, Congress and AIADMK members had sparred over the state government’s decision to remit the sentences.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, termed the decision as “very unfortunate” whille Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said the Congress would oppose the TN government’s decision. “We don’t agree with the TN government. The SC has already rejected this plea of several organisations and there is no question of supporting such a move,” he said. htc

First Published: Mar 03, 2016 19:00 IST