The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to modify its order that restrained state governments from releasing life convicts, including killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, on remission. “We will not tinker with any of our earlier orders. We are going to hear the matter in detail. At the end, after we decide, person will either come out or stay in jail,” observed a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu while refusing to lift its stay order passed in July last year.
The Bench made these remarks after counsel for some states asked for a modification of its order and allow them to remit sentences of at least such convicts who have completed over 20 years of their jail term. The court, however, turned down the plea and fixed the matter for hearing on July 21.
The Bench requires to decide whether states can exercise their power of remission when cases have been probed by central agencies like the CBI. The issue reached the court when the Tamil Nadu government decided to remit the sentences of all seven convicts in the assassination case soon after the apex court commuted their death sentence to life term.