August 27, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Tamil Nadu (August 27, 2011): As per media reports the authorities of the Central Prison, Vellore, have fixed September 9 as the date of execution of the three death row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case — Santhan, Murugan and G. Perarivalan alias Arivu.
On Friday, the prison authorities received the official communication from the Government of India that the President had rejected their review petitions.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated while proceeding to an election meeting in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.
The three convicts, along with 23 others, who stood trial in the case, were sentenced to death by the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act Court-1, Poonamallee on January 28, 1998.
The Supreme Court, which heard appeals by the convicts, confirmed the death sentence on four of the accused — Nalini (wife of Murugan), Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, reduced the sentence of three others – Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran – to life imprisonment, and acquitted the remaining 19 accused, in its judgement on May 11, 1999.
The review petitions filed by the four death convicts were dismissed by the Supreme court of India on October 8, 1999.
The four convicts sent clemency petitions to the then Governor of Tamil Nadu Fathima Beevi. Disposing of their petitions on April 25, 2000, the Governor, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State government, commuted the death sentence on Nalini to life, but rejected the petitions of the remaining three convicts.
Following this, they sent review to the President of India on April 26, 2000, which were rejected by the President in the first week of this month, 11 years after the submission of the petitions and 20 years after the assassination.
Arivudainambi, Superintendent of the Central Prison, Vellore, told The Hindu that immediately on receipt of the communication from the Government of India on Friday afternoon, he conveyed the information to the convicts. He fixed the date of execution as September 9, and this was also conveyed to them.
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