"We welcome the state government and the Chief Minister's bold and speedy initiative. They (the convicts) have been in prison for more than 22 years. So, natural justice demanded that they be released," CPI National Secretary D Raja said. He said the people of Tamil Nadu and all democratic-minded people welcomed this decision as the convicts had already spent more time in prison than those serving ordinary life imprisonment.
Raja said the verdict should pave the way for abolishing capital punishment. "Over 140 countries have abolished capital punishment.
India, being the largest democracy and an ancient civilisation, should also do away with it," Raja said, calling for a debate on the issue.
In a surprise move, the Jayalalithaa government today decided to set free all seven convicts in the assassination case, a day after the Supreme Court commuted the death penalty of three of them to life.