New Delhi: The Tamil Nadu cabinet on Sunday decided to recommend the release of seven convicts of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. State minister D Jayakumar informed the media and said that the recommendation will be sent to the Governor immediately.
On September 6, the Supreme Court had asked the Tamil Nadu government to seek redressal and direction from the State Governor for its demand to release the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
“I met TamilNadu CM today, he assured me that Governor will surely accept our recommendation and very soon all the 7 convicts will be free. We thank this govt which has paved the way for the release,” Arputhammal, mother of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict AG Perarivalan.
The two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had disposed of the petition filed by the Centre on Tamil Nadu government’s proposal seeking an early release of the convicts.
On August 10, the Centre stated that the President had rejected the proposal to release seven convicts. The affidavit from the central government came after the apex court asked the Centre to explain its take on Tamil Nadu’s 2016 decision to acquit all seven convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination.
In May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber, during an election rally in Sriperumbudur. This was perhaps the first case of suicide bombing which had claimed the life of a high-profile global leader.
All seven – Nalini, Perarivalan, Murugan, Santhan, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran – were convicted in the case. All seven convicts are serving life terms and had been in jail for the last 27 years.
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.
(With agency inputs)