Chennai: The recent execution of Afzal Guru has brought the spotlight back on the legality of hanging those who have been serving long sentences in jail after being awarded the death sentence.
Thirteen years after awarding death penalty to Rajiv Gandhi's assassins, former Supreme Court judge Justice KT Thomas said that it would be constitutionally incorrect to hang them now. In an interview, Justice Thomas said the judgment itself had errors as it did not consider the antecedents, nature and character of the accused.
The former apex court judge also called for a review of the case as their hanging would violate Article 21 of the Constitution. A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Thomas had awarded death sentence to Nalini Sriharan, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan.
Nalini's death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment in April 2000. The trio's case had been transferred to the Supreme Court and the court is expected to decide after the Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar case verdict.