The Supreme Court will hear on Thursday the Centre’s plea on restraining the Tamil Nadu government from releasing all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The court decision comes two days after it had restrained the Tamil Nadu government from releasing three of the seven convicts, whose death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment as it agreed to examine if the state had complied with procedure when it decided to remit their sentence.
Admitting a petition by the Centre, a bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam had ordered the state government to “maintain status quo prevailing as on date” in respect of convicts Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan until March 6.
While issuing notices to the Tamil Nadu government and the three convicts, the bench had turned down Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran’s plea to also stay the state’s decision to free the other four convicts in the case.
It had said the court’s verdict on Tuesday on commuting the death sentence was passed on petitions by only the three men and hence no orders could be passed for the other four. The court also said that the Centre was “justified” in approaching it since every state was expected to follow the procedure laid down in the code of criminal procedure and in case of a failure, the court can examine the dispute.
The shop had stored over 20 drums of kerosene that fuelled the blaze and it quickly spread through the entire building.