The Supreme Court of India ordered the premature release of six convicts, including Nalini Sriharan and RP Ravichandran, who were sentenced to life in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The Tamil Nadu government has reportedly appealed to the Supreme Court for the release of the accused.

A bench of Justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathnar said the apex court’s judgment in the case of AG Perarivalan, one of the accused in the case, applies equally to them, NDTV reported.

The Congress reacted to the verdict on Friday. They said the Supreme Court’s order ordering the premature release of six life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was “totally unacceptable and totally wrong”. The Court has not acted in accordance with the spirit of India on this issue.

Congress general secretary in charge of communications Jairam Ramesh said in a statement that the Supreme Court’s decision to release the former prime minister’s remaining killers was “totally unacceptable and totally wrong”.

He further said, ‘Congress party categorically criticizes it and finds it totally unworthy. It is most unfortunate that the Supreme Court has not acted in accordance with the spirit of India in this matter.’

Nalini Sriharan and Ravichandran approached the Supreme Court seeking premature release.

They both challenged a June 17 order of the Madras High Court, which rejected their plea for early release and referred to the Supreme Court judgment ordering the release of co-accused Perarivalan.

Nalini, Ravichandran, Santhan, Murugan, Perarivalan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar were sentenced to life imprisonment in the case.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bombing by a woman named Dhanu at an election rally in Sriperambudur, Tamil Nadu on the night of 21 May 1911.

(11 November)