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Supreme Court rejects Tamil Nadu petition for release of Rajiv-death accused

India's Supreme Court has rejected Tamil Nadu's plea for the release of seven Tamils convicted for the death of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, virtually condemning them to detention for the remainder of their lives.

A constitution bench, led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu, rejected Tamil Nadu’s arguments that the seven prisoners should not be robbed of their hope to be freed on remission, The Hindu reported.

“We find no scope to apply the concept of ray of hope to come to the rescue of such hardened, heartless offenders, which if considered in their favour will only result in misplaced sympathy and again will not be in the interest of society. Therefore, we reject the said argument outright,” the author of the judgement, Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla, said. Mr Kalifulla questioned why the convicts enjoy a “ray of hope” for their freedom when no such sympathy was shown to their victims “who were done to death and whose dependents were to suffer the aftermath with no solace left”.

“For instance, in the case relating to the murder of the former Prime Minister, in whom the people of this country reposed great faith and confidence when he was entrusted with such a great responsible office in the fond hope that he will do his best to develop this country…, all the hope of the entire people of this country was shattered by a planned murder,” Mr Kalifulla wrote.

“When it comes to the question of national interest or any other emergent or unforeseen situation warranting control in the nature of a super-terrestrial order [celestial], the Executive Power of the Union can be exercised like a bull in a china shop,” he further wrote.

Last year Tamil Nadu ordered the release of Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran, some of the convicts, however the Supreme Court halted their release then.