Chennai : The Tamil Nadu Congress wants the law of the land to be honoured, state party chief K.V. Thangkabalu said Tuesday, after the Madras High Court stayed for eight weeks the hanging of three men convicted for killing Rajiv Gandhi and the assembly passed a resolution asking the president to review the mercy petitions.
“Our stand is clear. We want the judicial verdict to be implemented. The law of the land should be respected and honoured,” Thangkabalu told IANS.
The high court Tuesday stayed for eight weeks the hanging of Murugan alias Sriharan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan and A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu, sentenced to death for conspiring to assassinate former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. They were to be hanged Sep 9 after the president rejected their mercy petitions.
Referring to the state assembly’s resolution asking President Pratibha Patil to review the mercy pleas and commute the death sentences to life imprisonment, he said: “Legislature is another legal arm of democracy and it has its own set of rules and procedures.”
Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, he said, made a political point in the assembly Monday stating that the DMK government headed by M. Karunanidhi had earlier rejected the mercy petition filed by the trio.
In his view, the assembly resolution is like opening the proverbial Pandora’s Box.
He had asked earlier whether the same parties would make a similar demand if their party leader was killed.
A woman suicide bomber blew herself up killing Gandhi, prime minister of India from 1984 to 1989, at an election rally in Sriperumbudur near Chennai May 21, 1991.
In 1998, all the 26 accused in the case – including the three – were sentenced to die by a special trial court for Gandhi’s killing.