New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government has moved the Supreme Court for a review of its verdict of December 2 last year holding that for remission of sentence and release of a convict in a case probed by the CBI, consultation with the Centre meant concurrence.
A five-judge Constitution Bench by its verdict on December 2, 2015, had said that “consultation” with the Centre meant “concurrence” for the grant of remission of the sentence of the convicts in the cases investigated by the CBI.
The top court had pronounced this while answering in affirmative the question “Whether the expression ‘Consultation’ stipulated in Section 435(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure implies ‘Concurrence’?”
The issue arose after the Centre challenged the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to grant remission of sentence and release of V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu and T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan who were convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination conspiracy case.
The Tamil Nadu government decided to grant remission of sentence and release V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu and T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan after the top court by its February 18, 2014, verdict commuted their death sentence to life imprisonment on the grounds of inordinate delay of 11 years in deciding their mercy plea by the President.
The court said that delay of 11 years was unreasonable and de-humanizing.
The others who were sought to be released included Jayakumar, Nalini and Ravichandran.
The day after the apex court verdict, the Tamil Nadu government in a suo motu decision on February 19, 2014, wrote a letter to the Centre proposing to remit the sentence of convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination conspiracy case.
The decision of the Tamil Nadu government to grant remission and release the convicts was contested by the Centre, which said the state government could not release the convicts in cases investigated by the CBI without its nod.
The three-judge bench headed by then Chief Justice P. Sathasivan (now Governor of Kerala) referred to the Constitution Bench the seven questions, including whether “consultation” with the Centre meant “concurrence” if the State government wants to grant remission of sentence and release the convict in a case investigated by CBI.