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Supreme Court right to refer Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to constitutional bench: D Raja

Friday, 25 April 2014 - 1:16pm IST | Agency: ANI

Communist-Party-of India (CPI) leader D Raja on Friday said the Supreme Court is right in asking the constitutional bench to decide on sensitive issues like the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

"Supreme Court has sought answers on to certain larger questions involved. After all, India is a country, which has a federal structure of governance, we have central and state governments. Both have certain powers. How to use it without any conflicts on sensitive matters which have far reaching implications. Supreme Court has tried to make it clear how both the state and central governments should share powers. There is a need for more clarity on these questions, which is imperative for the judicial system in our country. Keeping all these views in mind, the Supreme Court has rightly asked the constitutional bench to state its position within three months," Raja said.

The Supreme Court on Friday, referred the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to a Constitution Bench. The apex court said in its interim order that the staying of Tamil Nadu government's decision on remission of sentence will continue. The assassins will remain in jail for now. The apex court has framed seven questions for the Constitution Bench to decide on the issue of remission.

The Constitution Bench, which will be set up in three months, will decide whether the sentence of a prisoner, whose death penalty has been commuted to life, can be remitted by the govt. The apex court was considering the Centre's petition challenging the Tamil Nadu Government's decision to release all seven convicts serving life terms in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The court had in February commuted the death penalty of Rajiv Gandhi's assassins to life imprisonment on grounds of delay in deciding their mercy plea. The Centre had in March told the Supreme Court that the Tamil Nadu government's decision to grant remission of sentence to the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was selective and in derogation of the rights of the victims.

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