The Centre has told the High Court of Madras that it won’t be able to release Robert Pas and Jayakumar, two of the main seven accused in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, from the life imprisonment they have been undergoing for the past more than 25 years.
Santhan, Murugan, Perarivalan and Nalini are among the other accused who have been toiling in prison for the past quarter of a century. Leaders of all major political parties in Tamil Nadu, cutting across party affiliation, have demanded the release of the main accused in the case. Jayakumar and Paes filed a case in 2012 with the Chennai High Court. In January the Court had ordered the Centre to file an action-taken report in the case.
When the case was taken up for interrogation yesterday, Union Home Ministry filed a reply stating that Jayakumar and Paes can’t be released. It further said that life sentence clearly meant that the accused would have to spend their entire lifetime in prison and that there was no avenue/clause under which they could be released.
Further, the Centre requested the Court to quash the habeas corpus petitions filed by Jayakumar and Paes at once. In the meantime, the Supreme Court is taking up another case on Monday (14th August) in connection with the release of the seven accused in the above-said case.