As convicts review petitions are in court, the prison authorities are unlikely to go ahead with the sentence. Acting on behalf of the convicts, popular lawyer Ram Jethmalani is expected to move the petition before the Madras high court on Monday seeking to stay the execution and skirting the death sentence.
There are many voices against carrying out the death sentence against the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Rights activist and lawyer Sudha Ramalingam has been quoted as saying, "Now that the applications for stay of the executions and setting aside the death penalty are being moved before the high court, the prison officials will not carry out the hanging. Death is irreversible punishment and the hanging will be carried out only when all avenues are closed."
The matter was backed by an official source, which said, "Once their lawyers file petitions in the court seeking stay of the execution, we will have to discuss the issue within the government and formally decide to put off the hanging." It also added that this is because this was a sensitive case.
With the matter in a legal tangle at the moment, there are divergent voices speaking for and against the execution of the three convicts in the case. The mercy pleas of the trio was earlier rejected by President Pratibha Patil.