“Petty, Cheap Politics”: Congress Slams Government As Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassin Walks Free

New Delhi: The Congress expressed its displeasure and disappointment on Wednesday with the release of A G Perarivalan, a convict in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, and chastised the government for creating “a situation” in the court where the killer of a former prime minister is freed for “petty and cheap politics.”

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said today there is sorrow and fury not only in every Congress worker over the development but in every citizen who believes in India and Indianness.

“A terrorist is a terrorist and should be treated as one. Today, we are deeply pained and disappointed at the decision of the Supreme Court ordering the release of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassin,” he said.

It is condemnable and very unfortunate that the assassin of a former prime minister has been released, he said.

“Today is a sad day for the country. There is a sorrow and fury not only in every Congress worker, but in every Indian who believes in India and Indianness, who believes in fighting against extremism and every force that challenges the sovereignty and integrity of India,” he told reporters.

He also pondered if the thousands of prisoners serving life sentences should be released.

This is not a question about Rajiv Gandhi, but about a prime minister who was assassinated, he added, adding that the souls of all those combating terrorism have been wounded.

“Rajiv ji had sacrificed his life for the country, not for the Congress. And if today’s government creates a situation in the court to get his killers released for their petty and cheap politics, then it is very unfortunate and it is condemnable.”,Surjewala said.

“We condemn this in the strongest possible way. All Indians must see what kind of governments are in power today and what is their attitude towards extremism is,” he said.

The Supreme Court, using its unusual power under Article 142 of the Constitution, ordered the release of A G Perarivalan, who has been imprisoned for almost 30 years in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The governor was bound by the decision of the Tamil Nadu state cabinet, which recommended the premature release of all seven convicts in the case, according to a bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao.

The Supreme Court also rejected the Centre’s contention that the president alone has the ability to offer pardon in a case under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, saying that this would render article 161 (the governor’s power to grant pardon) useless.

The Supreme Court’s power to exercise its jurisdiction and issue orders for complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it is outlined in Article 142 of the Constitution. The item was also utilized in the land dispute between Ram Janmabhoomi and the Babri Masjid.

The Centre had previously defended the governor of Tamil Nadu’s decision to send Perarivalan’s mercy petition to the president.

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