Chennai: Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tamil Nadu, on Thursday urged Governor Banwarilal Purohit to order the release of seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case on humanitarian grounds without any further delay.

On September 9, 2018, the Tamil Nadu government had recommended their release.

Last month, the Supreme Court had dismissed pleas of the families of those killed along with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, objecting to the Tamil Nadu government’s 2014 decision to release seven convicts in the case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “All aspects were covered in the earlier constitution bench verdict in the case and therefore nothing survives in the case.”

According to Ramadoss, life imprisonment ‘in practice’ was confined to 14 years and the convicts have been in prison for 29 years.

“There were no legal restrictions to release the convicts and the Governor has ‘independent powers’ on the matter,” the PMK leader noted.

“Also, Supreme Court judgments in this respect showed that the Governor has ‘complete authority’ under the Constitution to release convicts,” he added.

“…in many cases, life imprisonment prisoners have been released much before the completion of their sentence period on the grounds of good conduct. A similar privilege should have been granted to all the seven Tamils imprisoned for life in the Rajiv case on a humanitarian basis,” Ramadoss said.

Perarivalan, Murugan, Shanthan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Jayakumar are the seven Rajiv case convicts now in prison.

Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India, was assassinated in Sriperumbedur of Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991, in a suicide bombing carried out by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

(With PTI Inputs)