In the light of the revelation by a retired CBI SP that he did not record verbatim the confession statement of the death row convict, A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu, in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the prisoner’s counsel has said that he will move the court soon seeking to examine the former official again.

Criticising the “casual attitude” in the investigation into one of the most sensational cases, that too involving a former Prime Minister, Perarivalan’s counsel N. Chandrasekaran told The Hindu that Perarivalan was sentenced on the basis of his confession statement. That the investigation was conducted in a “hurried manner” was evident from retired official V. Thiagarajan’s disclosure that he failed to record verbatim the confession statement of Perarivalan which was in Tamil. The admission may have a bearing on the entire case as it was Mr. Thiagarajan who recorded the statements of all the accused.

Perarivalan was sentenced to death for buying battery cells to make the belt bomb used to kill the former Prime Minister during an election rally at Sriperumbudur here in May 1991.

The retired official had said that Perarivalan had told him that he did not know why “they asked him to buy the battery.” But the official did not record that in the statement. He had also gone further saying that strictly speaking the statement should be recorded verbatim.

Mr. Chandrasekaran said the only piece of evidence against Perarivalan was regarding the purchase of the battery.

“We are not going to leave the matter at this. I will file a petition before the Supreme Court seeking reopening of the evidence. Mr. Thiagarajan should be brought to the box [witness box] again. They designed the charge sheet according to their convenience, Mr. Chandrasekaran alleged.

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