Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: SC asks Tamil Nadu governor to consider mercy petition of convicts

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The Supreme Court on September 6 asked the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to consider the mercy petition of AG Perarivalan and the six other convicts in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, disposed of the petition filed by the Centre on Tamil Nadu government’s proposal seeking an early release of the convicts.

Centre had stated that the release of the convicts in the assassination case of a high profile leader will set dangerous precedent and have international ramification.

The mercy petition was filed by 47-year-old Perarivalan alias Arivu before the Tamil Nadu Governor on December 30, 2015 under Article 161 of the Constitution.

The Tamil Nadu government seems to continue with its decision to ensure the release of the convicts.

While continuing with the decision of state to ensure the release of convicts Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said, “We have already taken decision when Jayalalithaa was CM and unanimous resolution was passed. We are waiting for the order from Supreme Court. Let’s receive the copy and we’ll decide. Our stand is what Amma had taken.”

Perarivalan claimed that the probe was not full-fledged and was incomplete and partial.  He added, “The main culprits who designed the bomb made of RDX were not nabbed till date. They are scot-free and investigation is still pending into the vital aspects of the crime itself,” his letter to the governor reads.

Perarivalan had already spent more than 24 years in jail. As per jail rules, life imprisonment at ground level is only for a maximum of 20 years and thereafter the prisoner is considered for release.