Rajiv Gandhi case: Commute death sentence of 3 convicts,DMK to PMhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/latest-news/rajiv-gandhi-case-commute-death-sentence-of-3-convicts-dmk-to-pm/

Rajiv Gandhi case: Commute death sentence of 3 convicts,DMK to PM

Former UPA ally says Santhan,Perarivalan and Murugan have been in prison for more than two decades.

A group of DMK MPs today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and asked him to recommend to the President commutation of the death sentence of the three convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The MPs said the convicts – Santhan,Perarivalan and Murugan – have been in prison for more than two decades.

In a memorandum to the Prime Minister,they also demanded abolition of death penalty.

“The death sentence of the three convicts should be commuted to life sentence on humanitarian grounds,taking into consideration the long period of imprisonment they have already undergone,” they said.

The MPs said the government should adopt a resolution in this regard in the Union Cabinet and recommend it to President Pranab Mukherjee.

Noting that there were many instances when death penalty had been commuted to life imprisonment,the DMK members cited a judgement of the Supreme Court on May one,this year,commuting the death sentence awarded to convict Mahendra Nath Das to life sentence on the ground that his mercy petition was rejected by the President after 11 years.

“On behalf of our leader M Karunanidhi,we request you to consider the cases of Murugan,Santhan and Perarivalan,which will also come under the same line. Their conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court in May 1998. They are suffering imprisonment for more than 22 years ever since their arrest in 1991,” the DMK members said in their memorandum to the Prime Minister.

The DMK MPs said almost half of the life of these three convicts had been spent within four walls in the pain of expecting death every morning,and their imprisonment was more cruel than death.

They urged the Prime Minister that “in the light of the SC judgement on Das,death sentence of Murugan,Saanthan and Perarivalan be commuted to life sentence on humanitarian grounds,taking into consideration the long period of imprisonment they have already undergone.”

They said death penalty is “legal murder” and should not have any place in a democratic and civil society like India. “Eye for an eye will not be the solution to any problem… the death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights,” they said,adding that DMK chief M Karunanidhi has been constantly advocating for the abolition of death sentence.

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“We,the members of Parliament belonging to DMK party,would like to bring to your kind consideration the long demand of right thinking people with humanitarian outlook of abolishing death penalty,for it does not reflect the quality of a civilised society,” they said in the memorandum.