Friday, June 21, 2024
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Centre opposes commuting sentence of Rajiv assassins

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CHENNAI: Strongly opposing the petitions by three Rajiv Gandhi assassins challenging their death sentences, the Centre on Friday said the delay in the disposal of the clemency pleas was not a valid ground for commutation of capital punishment.

“However long it may be, is not a mitigating circumstance or can be construed as a valid ground for commutation of death sentence and in any event does not reduce the gravity of the crime,” the Centre said in its counter affidavit in response to the petitions filed by Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan.

On August 30, a division bench comprising justices C Nagappan and M Satyanaryanan, had stayed for eight weeks the execution of the trio.

When the petitions came up Friday, the judges adjourned the hearing on the petitions to November 29 as the Supreme Court was hearing a petition for transferring the petitions to another high court.

In the affidavit on behalf of the Centre, Joint Secretary (Judicial) in the Union Home Ministry, J L Chugh, pointed out that the power of the President under Article 72 of the Constitution “is a discretionary power which cannot be taken away by any statutory provision.”(PTI)

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