Rajiv killers' case transferred to SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that it will hear the petitions of the three convicts who are challenging the death sentence given to them for their involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

The court allowed the transfer of the case of Rajiv Gandhi's killers challenging the rejection of their mercy plea out of the Madras High Court in Tamil Nadu.

The Madras High Court had stayed the execution of the three – Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan – after they appealed to it only days before they were to be hanged in September 2011.

In August 2011, President Pratibha Patil had rejected the trio’s mercy petitions pleading that their death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment. The mercy petitions were filed 11 years ago. The Supreme Court had awarded them the death sentence in 1999.

The trio argued in the high court that the President’s office had shown ‘an inordinate and inexplicable delay’ in deciding their mercy petitions. The mercy plea argued that this delay violates Article 21 of the Constitution


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