Rajiv Gandhi case convict Perarivalan free after 30 years

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The Centre’s counsel supported the Tamil Nadu Governor’s decision to refer Perarivalan remission plea to the President, despite the state government recommendation to release him….reports Asian Lite News

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of A.G. Perarivalan, a life term convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

A bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao invoked the power under Article 142 to release Perarivalan.

The bench noted that his mercy plea kept shuttling between the Governor and the President. On May 11, the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on the plea of Perarivalan, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, seeking premature release from jail after spending nearly 30 years in prison.

The Centre’s counsel supported the Tamil Nadu Governor’s decision to refer Perarivalan remission plea to the President, despite the state government recommendation to release him.

The top court said if the Centre’s stand is accepted, then the Governor will refer all such matters to the President. The bench queried Centre’s counsel, ‘wouldn’t it go against the federal structure?’ The Tamil Nadu government counsel argued that the Governor’s decision raised a serious problem and the top court should intervene.

After hearing arguments of all parties in the matter, the top court reserved its order on Perarivalan’s remission plea.

On May 4, the top court did not agree with the Centre’s submission that the court should wait for the President to take a call on A.G. Perarivalan’s mercy plea.

Perarivalan filed his mercy plea before the Tamil Nadu Governor in December 2015 under Article 161 of the Constitution, which deals with remission powers of the Governor. The top court on April 9 granted bail to convict Perarivalan, who was serving a life sentence.

TN to decide on release of 6 convicts

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Wednesday said the government will decide on the release of remaining six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Speaking to reporters here after the apex court ordered the release of A.G. Perarivalan one of the seven convicts in the case, Stalin said the government will study the judgement, discuss with legal experts and then take steps to release the others.

The other six life convicts are: Nalini, V Sriharan alias Murugan, Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P. Ravichandran.

All the convicts are in prison since 1991, the year a woman LTTE suicide bomber blew up herself, killing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on the spot at an election rally near Chennai.

The Tamil Nadu government has passed a resolution for the release of all the convicts, but the Governor didn’t take a decision on the same.

Terming the Supreme Court order as historic one, Stalin said it reiterates the cooperative federalism in the country.

He said the DMK had said its government would work towards the release of seven convicts.

The apex court has reiterated the right of state government and said the Governor has no right to intervene in the policy decisions.

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