The apex court had in 2014 stayed the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to release the convicts and had set up a five-judge Constitution Bench to deal with the issue relating to the power of states and the Centre to grant the benefit of remission and pardon to convicts.
The apex court had held that the state government cannot unilaterally determine remission of sentences in cases where the probe had been conducted by central government agencies.
The Constitution Bench, however, had said the issue — whether convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case can be granted remission or not — would be handled by a three-judge bench.
“The bench has been set up, but no hearing has taken place so far,” the lawyer said.
Out of the seven convicts, Nalini was awarded death sentence, which was later commuted to life imprisonment by the state government.
Three others, including her husband Murugan (Sriharan), were sentenced to death and the rest were given life term by the Supreme Court for their role in Gandhi’s assassination on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur.
The apex court had later commuted the death sentence of the other three on the grounds of inordinate delay in disposal of their mercy petitions.
( Source – PTI )