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The Centre today asked the CM Jayalalithaa's Tamil Nadu government not to release seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi killers' case saying there must be prior consultation before such a decision is taken.
In a communication to the Tamil Nadu government, the Home Ministry has conveyed that the seven accused were prosecuted under central laws like TADA, Arms Act etc., hence prior consultation with the central government was necessary.
Citing Section 435 of CrPC under which the Tamil Nadu government sought to remit the sentence, the Centre said the law categorically said the powers "shall not be exercised by the state government except after consultation with the central government".
The law also made it clear that prior consultation with the central government was necessary in any case which was investigated by CBI, set up under Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
Sources said the Home Ministry has conveyed that the opinion of the presiding judge of the court or by which the conviction was confirmed has to be taken before remission of the sentence. But no such move was taken by the Tamil Nadu government.
The ministry said whenever an investigation is done under central laws, the views of the central government prevail in case of giving remittance. It said the decision to set free the seven convicts in the sensational case is against all principles of justice and legally not tenable.