02/12/2015 12:59 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Rajiv Gandhi's Killers Can't Be Released Without Centre's Consent: SC

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - AUGUST 20: Congress party women workers holding the portrait of former Prime Minister Minister and Bharat Ratan Rajeev Gandhi during the 'Sankalp Diwas' on the occasion of former Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandhi's 70th birth anniversary at Talkatora Stadium on August 20, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Sonia Gandhi targetted the Modi government, accusing it of copying the schemes and programmes of the UPA dispensation and taking credit for the same. On the occasion of 70th birth anniversary of her husband and former PM Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi said empowering women was one of the two priorities which the Congress leader had pursued ever since he had become the general secretary of the party. (Photo By Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the killers of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi cannot be released by the Tamil Nadu Government without the Centre's consent.

The apex court said the killers of the former prime minister will stay in the jails of Tamil Nadu, thus overruling the state government's decision to release the convicts.

The apex court stressed that the Centre would have the final say in remission of sentence in cases investigated by a central agency.

"Wherever the power is being felt by the Centre as well as the state, the power of the Centre will have primacy over the state with regard to the power of remission and the Centre will decide the issue," Gowthaman, the lawyer of one of the accused, told ANI.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu stayed the state government's decision to set free seven convicts in connection with this case.

The apex court had earlier said that it was essential for the convicts to suffer and realise the victim's pain through ' slow poison' and asked the Centre if a Governor can take a decision over the mercy plea of any convict whose petition has been declined by the President.

The Centre had earlier told the apex court that Rajiv Gandhi's killers did not deserve any mercy.

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