Woman detonates explosives, kills Gandhi
21 May 1991
- Rajiv Gandhi was attending a meeting in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu on 21 May 1991, when he was assassinated.
- A woman greeted Gandhi and detonated a belt with explosives killing him and 25 others.
- Later in June, the killers were identified and arrested. They were sentenced to death in January 1998 by a Special Court.
Convicts file mercy plea
- The convicts in Rajiv Gandhi's case filed a petition and this was taken up to the President.
- Santhan, Murugan, Perarivalan and Nalini, the chief assassins were in confinement until 2000 after which their mercy plea was rejected.
- The Madras court, however, commanded a stay order over their death in 2011. Tamil Nadu Government then sent a petition to grant mercy for the killers.
SC commutes death sentence
18 Feb 2014
- The Supreme Court commuted the death sentences of the assassins to life imprisonment. The court also stated that the convicts could be freed if the Tamil Nadu Government granted a remission.
- The Supreme Court rejected the Central Government's request to grant death sentence to the killers.
- It was also stated that delays in execution was a reason for the commutation.
Remission of life imprisonment put on hold
20 Feb 2014
- Tamil Nadu Government filed for the release of the prisoners.
- The Supreme Court withheld the release of Gandhi's killers accepting the Central Government's plea to put a stay on the release.
- A state of status-quo was ordered over the prisoners' case.
- A clarification was also made that commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment would not lead to remission of term of the sentence.
Supreme Court examines State's right of remission
9 Jul 2014
- Tamil Nadu Government decided to reduce the sentences of Rajiv Gandhi's assassins and the issue was taken up to the apex court.
- The Supreme Court began a hearing over the powers of Union and State Government to remit life imprisonments.
- The Constitution Bench initiated for the same purpose also stated that all important issues related to the matter had to be examined.
Convict's daughter seeks forgiveness
In the wake of the death sentence being commuted to imprisonment, Harithra, the daughter of convicts Nalini-Murugan, thanked the Tamil Nadu Government. She also wrote a letter to the Gandhi family seeking forgiveness.
Rajiv Gandhi's assassins' life imprisonment upheld
30 Jul 2015
- The Supreme Court rejected the Central Government's plea and commuted Rajiv Gandhi's killers' death sentence to life imprisonment.
- The Centre had announced that SC could not show mercy in the issue and should uphold the death sentence.
- The Centre's announcement was in contrary to the Tamil Nadu Government's plea to set the convicts free from gallows and grant remission to the life imprisonment.
Madras HC rejects Rajiv Gandhi assassin's plea for premature release
20 Jul 2016
- On Wednesday, Justice M Sathyanarayana declined to entertain Nalini's plea for early release, invoked under Article 161 of the Constitution.
- He stated that until the pending writ petition reaches finality in the Supreme Court, he cannot ask the state government to consider her representation.
- Last year, the SC had ruled that the Centre had primacy over states' right to offer remission in such cases.
Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: SC upholds commutation of death to life sentence for killers - The Times of India
PC: 'Pandit Ram Kishore Shukla with Rajiv Gandhi at 7, Race course road in 1988' by Santosh Kumar Shukla - Pandit Ram Kishore Shukla with Rajiv Gandhi at 7, Race course road in 1988 @ flikr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons