The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that the seven people convicted for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi cannot be released, ANI reported. The top court recorded the affidavit filed by the Central government and adjourned the matter for a later date.

In June, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the Tamil Nadu government’s request to release the seven prisoners. The seven convicts are V Sriharan alias Murugan, AG Perarivalan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini.

The Union government said the Central Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the case, has taken a stance against their release. The Centre told the court that it informed the Tamil Nadu government about its decision on April 18, NDTV reported.

In the last four years, the Tamil Nadu government has written twice to the Centre, seeking pardon for the convicts and their release as they have already spent 27 years in prison. Perarivalan’s mother has demanded euthanasia for her son, claiming he is “slowly dying in prison”.

In 2015, a Supreme Court Constitution bench said the Central government’s approval was necessary for their release. In June, the Centre told the top court that releasing four foreign nationals convicted in the case “will set a very dangerous precedent and lead to international ramifications”.