CHENNAI, Feb 19 � Twenty-three years after they were jailed, the Tamil Nadu Government today decided to set free within three days all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case after the Supreme Court commuted the death penalty of three assassins, reports PTI.
Besides Santhan, Murugan, the husband of Nalini, Perarivalan, who earned a major reprieve from the Supreme Court yesterday, which spared them from gallows, Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran would walk out from prison.
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who took the decision for early release of the Rajiv killers at an emergency Cabinet meeting convened this morning over the issue, made a suo motu announcement in the State Assembly.
The announcement, which brought cheers on the faces of the convicts, their families, was hailed by Opposition parties, barring Congress.
Jayalalithaa said that in compliance with the Sec 435 of CrPc, the State would send the Cabinet decision to the Centre seeking its nod for the release as the CBI filed the case against the convicts.
�If there is no reply within three days from the Centre, the State government will release all the seven under CrPc Section 432 in accordance with the powers vested with it,� she declared.
While members from the Opposition parties thanked the Chief Minister for her gesture in deciding to release all the convicts, Congress� JD Prince stood up and made certain remarks, which the Speaker V Dhanpal expunged.
John Jacob and NR Rangarajan (both Congress) were heard saying something, but the Chair refused permission stating that any statement made under Rule 110 of the House did not entail members to seek clarifications.
The three Congress members later trooped out of the House.