The mother of Perarivalan, one of the three convicts sentenced to death in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, on Thursday met former Supreme Court judge V. R. Krishna Iyer, seeking his intervention to save his life.

Arputham Ammal, accompanied by some relatives and her counsel met Justice Iyer for a few minutes at his residence here.

After the meeting, she told reporters that Perarivalan, her only son was 19 years old when the incident took place and has been behind bars for over 20 years.

Besides Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan are also facing the gallows for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.

Their execution was fixed for last month after President Pratibha Patil rejected their mercy pleas, but the Madras High Court has stayed their hanging on a petition from them.

On the occasion, Justice Iyer launched a week-long awareness drive against capital punishment taken up by a group of Tamil Nadu-based NGOs, whose representatives also accompanied Arputham Ammal.

Justice Iyer said “if any human life is judicially hanged for a hateful crime, the flag of humanity hangs low in the name of compassion and respect for the divinity that sustains universality. It is noteworthy that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has declared against death sentence.

“Save in the rarest of rare cases too diabolic to be restored the criminal’s human dignity, the sublime power of clemency, vested in the Governor and the President shall fulfill itself by ever saving life never by slaughtering what god has created.”