Madras HC Questions TN Gov on Release of Rajiv Gandhi Convicts
The court observed that the recommendation made by the state must either be rejected or accepted by the Governor.
The Madras High Court on Wednesday, 22 July, said that Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit cannot continue to hold back on his decision regarding the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The Tamil Nadu government, in September 2018, had recommended the release of the seven convicts – Perarivalan, Murugan, Santhan, Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran – who have been given life sentences.
In a cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, they had come to an agreement that the convicts could be freed as they had already spent over 30 years in prison.
The release was recommended under Article 161 (power of governor to suspend or pardon sentences) of the Constitution.
The court observed that the recommendation made by the state government must either be rejected or accepted by the governor.
The question was raised when a request for parole for one of the convicts, Perarivalan, came before the bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice VM Velumani, when his advocate stated that he was very ill and needs to stay at home.
The Raj Bhavan has told earlier that the issue is quite complex and there has been no conclusive response from the governor till date.
Meanwhile, the Centre, in January 2020, stated that it had no intention of freeing the prisoners.
Two days ago, on Monday, Nalini Sriharan allegedly attempted suicide in prison, said her lawyer.
Nalini has been lodged in the Vellore women’s prison for the last 29 years. Her advocate, Pugazhendhi, told The Quint that there was allegedly a quarrel between Nalini and another life convict, and the latter made an oral complaint.
When the officials went to question Nalini on the matter, she allegedly attempted suicide, he said.
However, the lawyer added that he was suspicious and said the actual cause is yet to be ascertained as she had never taken such a drastic step till date.
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