Nation Current Affairs 09 Jan 2017 Vaiko asks Tamil Nad ...

Vaiko asks Tamil Nadu CM to release 7 convicts in Rajiv Gandhi case

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jan 9, 2017, 6:24 am IST
Updated Jan 9, 2017, 6:27 am IST
MDMK general secretary Vaiko.
 MDMK general secretary Vaiko.

Chennai: MDMK founder Vaiko on Sunday appealed to Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to release seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and all other convicts who completed 10 years of their prison terms on the occasion of the birth centenary of former Chief Minister, late MG Ramachandran. He cited precedents in the past to support the action.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, Vaiko recalled past precedents where prisoners had been released on occasions including India’s independence, the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi in 1969 and efforts by MG Ramachandran himself as Chief Minister.

Vaiko also referred to the role played by the former matinee idol MGR in the Tamil film Pallandu Vazhga where he sets out to reform some tough prisoners.
“In this background, I request that on the occasion of the birth centenary of MGR (as he is addressed), who was an epitome of humanity, the seven persons in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case who have spent 25 years in jail should be released,” he said.

Such a decision should be taken on “humanitarian” grounds, he said in the letter which was released by MDMK headquarters. The Tamil Nadu government should use the “authority” provided to the state government under Article 161 of the Constitution of India for this purpose, Vaiko added.

Article 161 deals with the “Power of Governor to grant pardons etc and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.” Vaiko, who noted that the death penalty has been abolished in 137 countries, added that many of them have accepted that prisons are not meant to punish but reform. Therefore, to rehabilitate those who have undergone ten years of prison term, such persons should also be freed on the occasion, he said.

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