The Central government has opposed the commutation of death sentence for three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, saying the killers enjoyed and had a meaningful life while mercy plea was pending.
The Centre told the apex court that the convicts did not go through torture, agony and dehumanising experience during pendency of mercy pleas.
It also asserted that the though there has been delay in deciding the mercy plea, but “the delay is not unreasonable, unexplainable and unconscionable to commute death sentence”.
The government said that it was not a fit case for commuting death sentence, following which the Supreme Court reserved order on the plea of the death convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief justice P Sathasivam reserved the order after hearing the arguments of counsel appearing for three convicts — Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, and Attorney General G E Vahanvati who represented the central government.
The counsel, appearing for the convicts, opposed the arguments of Vahanvati, saying that they have suffered due to the delay by the government in deciding the mercy petitions and the apex court should intervene and commute their death sentence to life term.
The convicts, in their petition, submitted that mercy plea of other condemned prisoners, which were filed after them, were decided but their petitions were kept pending by the government.