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Rajiv Gandhi assassination case : Killers can’t be freed, Centre tells Supreme Court

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New Delhi, Aug 10 : The Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that the seven people convicted for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi cannot be released as the “they don’t deserve leniency” for “gruesome” killing.

“The releasing of killers of former PM Rajiv Gandhi will set a very dangerous precedent. The case has been decided by various forum of judiciary and executive and the prisoners do not deserve to be set free,” said the Centre to the Supreme Court.

“Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was the most heinous and gruesome crime, the brutal Act brought the Indian democratic process to a grinding halt  and the convicts do not deserve any leniency,” said the Centre.

The top court recorded the affidavit filed by the Central government and adjourned the matter for a later date.

The Central government stated that the President of India has already rejected a proposal to release the convicts.

The government asserted that the CBI, which investigated the case, has opposed the release of the seven convicts and Tamil Nadu had been informed of the decision on April 18, the centre told the court.

The Centre’s affidavit came in response to the Supreme Court asking the government to explain its stand on Tamil Nadu’s 2016 decision to release the seven convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

In June, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the Tamil Nadu government’s request to release the seven prisoners. The seven convicts are V Sriharan alias Murugan, AG Perarivalan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini.

The Tamil Nadu government’s decision was challenged in the Supreme Court, following which the court asked for the Centre’s opinion.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, around seven years after his mother Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her bodyguards in New Delhi.

 

 

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Modi government does a u-turn, submits affidavit for correction in SC Judgment on Rafale

The Centre’s application followed the Congress allegation that the government has not produced the facts correctly before the Supreme Court and has “lied” in the court.

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New Delhi, Dec 15 : Under attack from the opposition, the government on Saturday moved the Supreme Court seeking correction of its order on Friday in the Rafale verdict, saying a note submitted by it in a sealed cover has led to misinterpretation about a CAG report being examined by the PAC, leading to an error in the judgement.

In an application filed before the top court, the government said it is seeking correction with regard to two sentences in paragarph 25 of the judgement delivered on Friday.

“The error in these two sentences, as explained hereinafter, appears to have occurred, perhaps, on account of misinterpretation of a couple of sentences in a note handed over to this court in a sealed cover. The observations in the judgement have also resulted in a controversy in the public domain, and would warrant correction by this court in the interest of justice.”

The Centre’s application followed the Congress allegation that the government has not produced the facts correctly before the Supreme Court and has “lied” in the court. The party, quoting from the judgement said, the government told the court that the Public Accounts Comittee (PAC) has examined the CAG report on Rafale whereas no such report exists.

In paragraph 25 of the judgement, the court has observed that “the pricing details have, however, been shared with the CAG, and the report of the CAG has been examined by the PAC. Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before Parliament and is in public domain”.

The government said in its application that these statements appear to have been based on the note submitted by the Union of India, along with the pricing details, in two sealed covers.

These notes in sealed covers, the government said, were submitted in compliance with the court’s October 31 order, in which it had said it would like to be apprised about the details about the pricing/ cost, particularly the advantage thereof, if any, which again would be submitted to the court in a sealed cover.

In that note, which was in the form of bullet points, the government said the second point carried the sentence “the government has already shared the pricing details with the CAG. The report of the CAG is examined by the PAC. Only a redacted version of the report is placed before Parliament and in public domain”.

The government said it may be noted that what has already been done is described by the words in the past tense, that is, the government “has already shared” the price details with the CAG. “This is in the past tense and is factually correct. The second part of the sentence, in regard to the PAC, is to the effect that ‘the report of the CAG is examined by the PAC’.

“However, in the judgement, the reference to the word ‘is’ has been replaced with the words ‘has been’, and the sentence in the judgement (with regard to PAC) reads ‘the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee’.”

The government maintained that its submission to the effect that the report to the CAG “is” examined by the PAC, was a description of the procedure which is followed in the normal course in regard to reports of the CAG.

“The very fact that the present tense ‘is’ used would mean that the reference is to the procedure which will be followed as and when the CAG report is ready.”

Similarly, the government said the statement that only a redacted version of the report ‘is’ placed before Parliament is referred to in the judgement as “only redacted portion of the report was placed before Parliament and is in public domain”.

“That unfortunately, an element of misinterpretation of the statement made in the note/ bullet points handed over on behalf of the Union of India in a sealed cover, appears to have crept in. This has also resulted in a controversy being raised in the public domain.”

In this background, the government has urged the court for corrections in para 25 of the judgement, so that “any doubts and/or any misunderstanding is not allowed to creep into the judgement”.

It pleaded that the words “report on the CAG is examined by the PAC. Only a redacted version is placed before parliament and public domain” may be substituted in place of “and the report of the CAG has been examined by the PAC. Only a redacted portion of the report has been placed before Parliament and is in public domain”.

In a bid to keep the pot boiling, PAC Chairman Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday said he will press for summoning the Attorney General and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to ask them when was the public auditor’s report tabled and when did the PAC examine it.

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Govt has compromised on National security on Rafale deal: Chidambaram

Air Force says its fighter aircraft strength is depleted and it needs at least 7 squadrons (126 aircraft). Then, why did the government buy only 2 squadrons (36 aircraft) ?

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, Dec 15 : Attacking the NDA Government on the deal for Rafale fighter jets, senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said that by buying only 36 aircraft when 126 aircraft are on offer, the Government has gravely compromised national security.”

In a series of tweets, Mr Chidambaram said, Rafale is willing to sell 126 aircraft. According to FM price is cheaper. Then, why buy only 36 aircraft?

Will someone please solve this mystery? Air Force says its fighter aircraft strength is depleted and it needs at least 7 squadrons (126 aircraft). Then, why did the government buy only 2 squadrons (36 aircraft) ?

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Agusta Westland Case: Christian Michel’s CBI custody extended by 4 days

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Christian Michel (File Photo)

New Delhi, Dec 15: The Patiala House Court on Saturday extended the CBI custody of Christian Michel by another four days.

The court refused to allow Michel’s lawyer Rosemary Patrizi to meet him in CBI custody, along with Aljo K Joseph.

Michel is the alleged middleman who has been charged and arrested in the graft-tainted AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

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