Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has filed an application before the Madras High Court seeking review of a court order in April 6 this year on her appeal.
The writ appeal had challenged the Tamil Nadu government's decision to accept the recommendation of the Prison Advisory Board rejecting her plea for premature release. In the application, filed through counsel M.Radhakrishnan and P.Pugalenthi, she contended that in the absence of any material before the court, the conclusion of the Bench, which passed the judgment on the appeal, suffered lack of consideration. The court had erred in holding that as she was originally awarded death sentence and her sentence was commuted to one of life imprisonment purely on humanitarian grounds, she constituted a distinct class and could not claim equality with those sentenced to life imprisonment.
The court's observation was contrary to the scheme framed by the Tamil Nadu Government in a G.O. dated September 2006. The G.O. did not say that those whose death sentence was already commuted to one of life sentence would not be eligible for premature release. Nor was any challenge made by Nalini in this regard.
Since the High Court had given a finding on an issue, which was not the subject matter of the G.O., its conclusion was wrong.
The court had erred in holding that Nalini, a life convict in a crime that was ruthless in execution in taking away the life of the former Prime Minister of India, cannot seek premature release as a right though she had a right to seek consideration of her plea.
The applicant said the court had not appreciated that what she sought for in her writ petition was only consideration of her case for premature release.
When the application came up on Monday, a Division Bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and D.Hariparanthaman admitted it. It directed the Advocate-General, who took notice, to file a counter.
The Bench posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.