Chennai, Mar 5: Reiterating his demand for the release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, DMK President M Karunanidhi today said either the Centre or the ruling AIADMK government should issue orders in this regard.
"Whatever be the hidden agenda of the Tamil Nadu government on the release of the convicts, since there has been an long delay in their release, the Centre should approach the case on a humanitarian basis...," Karunanidhi said in a party statement.
Instead of debating who has the power for their release - the state or the Centre or courts - he said, "I request the Centre to take steps for the release of the convicts or the state government should issue orders under Article 161 (of the Constitution of India)".
He said the convicts have been "languishing" in jail for more than 24 years and Home Minister Rajnath Singh's comments in the Parliament gave hope that the Centre was reviewing the request made by the Tamil Nadu government.
Last week, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K Gnanadesikan had written to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, informing him of the government's decision to remit the life sentences of the seven -- V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini -- and had sought Centre's views on the matter.