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Judicial Terror: Death Penalty, TADA and the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case

25 Aug 1998

This report is a detailed analysis of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and the faulty judicial process and judgement by the court constituted under the draconian Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA). It shows how through the provisions of a repressive law, the ultimate punishment of death was awarded to the accused persons with complete disregard of fair procedure. It specifically examines the manner in which motive and guilt was established using ‘confessions’ made during police custody and the possibility of them being forced, the highly indirect and thus questionable nature of corroborative evidence used to draw inferences, and finally the sentencing itself. At a broader level, it argues against the practice of capital punishment and, by using the case under study, establishes the various problems associated with this mode of irrevocable punishment. 

Key words-  Confession, Conspiracy, Central Bureau of Investigation, Death penalty, Draconian or repressive laws, Evidence , IPKF, Rajiv Gandhi, LTTE, Nalini, Prabhakaran, Pottu Omman, Political prisoners Special Investigation Team, , Sri Lanka, TADA. 

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