In the light of the revelations by CBI official V. Thiagarajan that he had not recorded verbatim the statement of A.G. Perarivalan, alias Arivu, facing death sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, a fresh mercy plea has been presented to President Pranab Mukherjee requesting commutation of the death penalty into one of life imprisonment.
Two Supreme Court advocates, N. Rajaraman and R. Krishnamurthy have presented the mercy plea on behalf of Perarivalan stating that the rejection of the earlier plea would not be a bar on the President to reconsider his decision in view of the fresh evidence coming to light.
“We call upon your good selves to reconsider the mercy plea of Perarivalan, in the light of the revelations of ex IPS officer and the former CBI official, V. Thiagarajan’s comments in a documentary that he had not recorded verbatim the confessional statement of Perarivalan,” the petition said.
“A documentary released by the People’s Movement Against Death Penalty claimed that the CBI had failed to record verbatim the confessional statement of Perarivalan. Mr. Thiagarajan, who was the then CBI SP of the Kerala Branch said he was assigned the task of recording the statement of accused persons in 1991. ‘Arivu told me that he did not know why they asked him to buy that [the battery]. But I did not record that in the confessional statement. Then the investigation was in progress, so that particular statement I did not record. Strictly speaking, law expects you to record a statement verbatim… we don’t do that in practice’,” he said.