Tamil Nadu government recently said that all the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assaination case will be set free. The state government courted controversy as it did not cited any concerete provision of the rule of law or the constitution to make such claims.
There was a bomb blast by the LTTE's sucide bombers in 1991 that killed Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and injured more than 200 people. The event created anger against the LTTE in the country. This was because Rajiv Gandhi was not a common man, he was elected representative of the country. His killing was an assult on India.
The case dragged in the courts for more than twenty years and out of seven convicts, three were sentenced to death. Their mercy petition faced inordinate delay, making the Supreme Court to change their punishment to life imprisonment. Soon after the SC judgement, the Tamil Nadu government announced that it may free all the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
Tamil Nadu government reasoned that fundamental rights were violated in this case due to central government's inaction and since convicts has already been jailed for a long time and their death sentence has been commuted to life, so as part of natural justice, it has the right to set them free.
The state government's decision is violating several provisions of the constitution. The central government has filed a writ petition challenging state government's decision in the Supreme Court. The SC has temoporarily put on hold the state government's decision of and stoped the release of the convicts.
The idea of the release of the Rajiv Gandhi killers is for political purposes and not for the protection of the rule of law. It is for the sake of one-upmanship in the state politics.
Such kind of announcement made by the state government will have far reaching consequences for the future of the country. It will set a dangerous precedent in the country and lower the dignity of the judiciary.
The state government can't take law of the land in its hands for the sake of playing dirty politics in the state. It cannot change the provisions of the constitution for its vested interests.
By taking law in hands, the state government is insulting the rules and regulations laid down in our constitution. This is a transgression of our democracy.
We have IPC,CrPC and the courts to judge the merits of the cases. The government both at the center and the state should help the judiciary in its functioning. They should not to interfere in its judgment and interpret them it in its own way.
If his killers are set free then there will be no fear of law in the country. The rule of law will vanish and there will be a chaos in the society. Some may think that things can be settled by taking the laws in its hand. In that case bomb blast can become a culture in the country.
So releasing of the convicts will be totally wrong. The Supreme Court should not allow such dirty games to be played by the state politicians. The Supreme Court should come up with a strong judgment to restrict the state government from interfering in its judgment. It should not all a state to play with the minds and emotions of the country for pleasing the people of its state.
The Supreme Court is right in its judgment saying 'No' to death penalty and 'Yes' to lifetime imprisonment. The idea of freeing of the Rajiv Gandhi killers is the politics of the worst kind. It has to be opposed.
Ujwala Nathu Bhoi