SC released the Rajiv Gandhi case convicts guilty of terror
- November 15, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
SC released the Rajiv Gandhi case convicts guilty of terror:
- The Supreme Court has set free the remaining six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, extending to them the benefit of its order releasing their co-convict A G Perarivalan.
What is the background of the case:
- In 2014, the Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence of AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, to life imprisonment on account of the undue and unexplained delay in deciding his mercy plea.
- Subsequently in 2018, Perarivalan submitted an early release application to the Governor of Tamil Nadu under Article 161 of the Constitution.
- The then Governor of Tamil Nadu decided to refer the plea to the President of India.
- The Tamil Nadu government objected to such ‘reference’, which has no statutory or constitutional validity.
- Both Perarivalan and the Tamil Nadu government, in 2018, approached the Supreme Court due to the delay in his release, despite a recommendation given by the then Tamil Nadu government to remit his sentence.
What is Supreme Court Judgement of May 2022:
- In May 2022, the Supreme Court ordered the release of AG Perarivalan, invoking powers under Article 142 of the Constitution.
- The court was of the view that the inordinate delay in deciding Perarivalan’s early release plea by the Governor under Article 161 warranted his release.
- The court observed that the inordinate delay by the Tamil Nadu Governor in exercising his powers under Article 161 can be subject to judicial review.
- The court opined that the state government is well-within its authority to aid and advise the Governor in pardon and remission pleas pertaining to cases of murder
What is Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA):
- TADA, was an Indian anti-terrorism law which was in force between 1985 and 1995 and modified in 1987 under the background of the Punjab insurgency and was applied to whole of India
What were the power under TADA:
- The law gave wide powers to law enforcement agencies for dealing with national terrorist and ‘socially disruptive’ activities.
- The police were not obliged to produce a detainee before a judicial magistrate within 24 hours.
- The accused person could be detained up to 1 year.
- Confessions made to police officers were admissible as evidence in the court of law, with the burden of proof being on the accused to prove his innocence.
- Courts were set up exclusively to hear the cases and deliver judgements pertaining to the persons accused under this Act.
- The trials could be held in camera with the identities of the witnesses kept hidden.
- Under 7A of the Act, Police officers were also empowered to attach the properties of the accused under this Act.
- Under this act police have no rights to give third degree or harass anyone to speak as mentioned in the act.