New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the plea seeking directions not to proceed with the Tamil Nadu Government’s decision of premature release of 7 convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Dismissing the plea, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said, “We don’t find any merit in your petition.”

All seven – Nalini, Perarivalan, Murugan, Santhan, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran who were convicted in the case are serving life terms and have been in jail for the last 27 years.

Two days back, Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case, had filed a petition in the Madras High Court against Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit for delaying countersigning the proposal of the Tamil Nadu cabinet for the release of the convicts.

The Supreme Court had on February 18, 2014, commuted the death sentence of three convicts Murugan, Santhan, and Perarivalan citing inordinate delay by the executive in deciding their mercy plea.

On September 2018, the Tamil Nadu government had passed a resolution recommending the release of the convicts in the case to the Governor under Article 161, which deals with the judicial powers of a state’s governor. In fact, Tamil Nadu Minister D Jayakumar had said that the Governor has to accept the recommendations made by the state cabinet on the release of all 7 convicts of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Talking to reporters, he had said, “We hope the Governor will take a good decision in this regard as it is the aspirations of Tamil people.”

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed. This was perhaps the first case of suicide bombing which had claimed the life of a high-profile global leader.