Judge who handed death to Rajiv Gandhi killers writes to Sonia: Show magnanimity
By Team Legistify / 2017-11-16

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The judge who headed the three-member Supreme Court bench that confirmed the punishment to the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case has written a letter to the former prime minister’s wife and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, requesting her to “show magnanimity” and convey her willingness for the remission of sentences of those who have been in jail since 1991.

In the letter dated October 18, Justice (retd) K T Thomas pointed out that a decision to grant remission by the Tamil Nadu government in 2014 was opposed by the Centre — the matter is pending before the Supreme Court. “Perhaps the Union government would agree if you and Rahulji (if possible Priyankaji also) would write to the President of India conveying your willingness to grant remission to these persons who have already spent the longest period of their life in prison. It appears to me as a matter of human consideration which you alone can help. As the judge who passed the judgment against these persons I now feel that I should address this letter to you so that you can show magnanimity in the situation,” the letter stated.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Wednesday, Justice Thomas confirmed the contents of the letter and said that he was seeking “compassion” for the convicts. He said there were “serious flaws” in the CBI’s investigation in case, particularly related to the seizure of Rs 40 lakh in cash from the convicts, which led him to believe that the probe exposed “an unpardonable flaw” in the “Indian criminal justice system”.

In the letter, Justice Thomas referred to the central government’s decision in 1964 to set free Gopal Godse, brother of main accused Nathuram Godse, who was charged with conspiracy in the Mahatma Gandhi assassination case after 14 years of imprisonment.

Justice Thomas ended his letter with these lines: “I also feel that God Almighty will only be pleased by showing the magnanimity to those prisoners. I may be excused if I have done anything wrong in requesting you as above.”


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