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Updated: May 11, 2013 14:50 IST

‘On what basis did President reject my plea?’

S. Vijay Kumar
Comment (34)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Perarivalan interacts with Information Commissioner through videoconferencing

A.G. Perarivalan, convict on death row in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, wants to know the factors the President considered while rejecting his clemency petition.

He raised this demand during an interaction with officials of the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) through videoconferencing from Vellore central prison on Thursday. Perarivalan wanted to know the grounds for the rejection of his mercy petition, counsel K. Surendar told The Hindu on Friday.

Accompanied by a prison official, the convict had a 30-minute interaction with Information Commissioner Sushma Singh and Joint Secretary (Judicial), MHA, J.L. Chugh. The MHA contended that the President’s decision or the advice given to the President by the Council of Ministers could not be challenged in court under the provisions of Article 74 (2) of the Constitution. The Information Commissioner, however, advised Perarivalan to make a written submission of his queries, Mr. Surendar said.

Perarivalan said he was not challenging the President’s decision. Counsel who met Perarivalan after the videoconferencing session quoted him as saying that the officials gave him a patient hearing.

“We will make a written submission to the CIC soon,” Mr. Surendar said. “The outcome of the investigation conducted by the Multidisciplinary Monitoring Committee into the making of the bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi is among the details being sought,” Mr. Surendar said.

Perarivalan petitioned the MHA in 2012 asking why the President rejected his mercy petition. Since there was no response, he sent a telegram to the CIC stating that his plea should be treated as urgent and heard on priority. The telegram became necessary in the backdrop of the secret executions of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru.

The videoconference was scheduled for April 15, but did not take place that day for technical reasons. Perarivalan is lodged in Vellore central prison along with Murugan alias Sriharan and Santhan, who are also facing the death penalty in the case. Their petition challenging the inordinate delay in the President rejecting their mercy petitions is pending in the Supreme Court.

Ridiculous to ask basis for rejection of mercy plea; he is accused as
per law and must undergo punishment; in fact, death penalty would have
been right and If Executed in earnest within a month, all this drama
will not surface ! Pity we are too lenient on violent extremists and
murderers and maintain them at public expense for long periods of time !
Must stop this practice; ensure law prevails and death sentence given is
implemented within a month or so ! Sad all culprits seek time and grace!

from:  Rita Jaisingh
Posted on: May 13, 2013 at 06:59 IST

It is appropriate for the citizens including the convicted person and his/her family to know the precise reasons for rejecting or accepting the death penalty as a matter of mandated right.
It is also opportune time to review whether the President of India and Governor of the State should continue to exercise this discretionery powers conferred on them. How many countries in the world have conferred such discretionery powers to their Head of the State?

from:  Dr Amrit Patel
Posted on: May 12, 2013 at 08:31 IST

Has this person ever detailed his reasons for the murder of Rajiv Gandhi ?

from:  Narendra Pabbisetti
Posted on: May 12, 2013 at 07:05 IST

I'm shocked by the judgmental and callous comments of many a self-righteous reader. It is also intriguing to note the amount of faith these readers have on the judicial system! Either they exhibit here total naivety or have clear prejudiced opinions. As one comment states, the "death conviction" of Perarivalan was far from being an open, fair and judicial probe. The "crime" attributed to him would have no standing in an international court of law. I guess, that explains the inordinate delay in the carrying out of the judgement of the Supreme court - since there were no "hard" evidences to support his involvement in the crime. If sympathising with the LTTE and their cause were offences that amounted to death sentence, then most Tamils would be guilty. It is not to be forgotten, that Perarivalan has spent more than half of his lifetime in prison, with the constant fear of the gallows. This is "punishment" enough for his "deed", whatever it might be. Readers need to be impartial.

from:  Dinakaran
Posted on: May 12, 2013 at 07:02 IST

So many people posting "you are a murderer, you deserve no mercy" without examining either the court proceedings or the evidence! What a country!

from:  Bhanu Kiran
Posted on: May 12, 2013 at 02:52 IST

It was not a mere killing of an ex prime minister and 15 people while
injuring a host of others. I would call it the Rape of the nation by a
terrorist group from a neighboring country. And, this person abetted in
that crime which is treacherous as well. He has no right to demand
anything. He should accept whatever punishment is given to him. If he
says he dies a million deaths because of the delay well, that is good.
That is what the punishment meant to be since in his case it is not
correction but annihilation that is needed.

from:  SHANKAR
Posted on: May 12, 2013 at 02:08 IST

I feel great about Indian democracy when a prisoner waiting to be hanged gets to question. It just shows freedom speech is available to some people. It is not given to others like the folks who posted on Facebook.

Having said that he doesnt deserve a response. If there is insufficient evidence to jail him, then the judge should have let him out in the first place. We cant speak for the Judge.

from:  vijay
Posted on: May 12, 2013 at 01:32 IST

Perarivalan and his fellow convicts should have been hanged twenty years
back. By delaying it, he has the chance to challenge the President:
letting him go will be denial of justice for poor Rajiv Gandhi

from:  S.A.Krishnan
Posted on: May 12, 2013 at 01:05 IST

Yes its a genuine question & it should be answered.

from:  Manjunath
Posted on: May 12, 2013 at 00:06 IST

It is not that "A convict questioning the president of India", rather a citizen of India is asking the reason from the "first citizen" of India, he has every right to defend himself even at every front, it is a matter of serious concern that he was sentenced on flimsy grounds, see how many MPs, MLAs are given benefit of doubt, then why not he, rather i should say the case must be reheard

from:  Prabhakar Mishra
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 22:49 IST

He is just playing the system to buy more time - get it done already!

from:  Suresh
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 22:43 IST

The true Democracy means even a convicted KILLER like this man can have a recource to a PLEA however far fetched&illogical it may be.If he is involved&proven to be in the MURDER of INDIA's PM then DEATH PENALTY is a MUST.

from:  bala srinivasan
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 22:41 IST

Superb! "Simply because it was President's Order, none should question it".... government cannot say like that now! There should be truthful & evidence based decision making at all level. President has the utmost responsibility and it's life and death situation for the accused.

from:  vel
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 21:42 IST

I agree with Sundar's view here. In my view, he is innocent... people show try to learn facts beofre jumping and shouting foul..

from:  Karl
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 21:27 IST

This is how democracy is being misused in India He talks because there
are many politicians consider him as a great hero of tamils
In India only petty thieves are punished, others claim their rights and
question the highest authority
Bala

from:  S.Bala
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 19:29 IST

If the govt was efficient and carried out all death sentences, this Perari won't be around to
question the president. What a disgrace for India!

from:  Dibyendu Barua
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 18:40 IST

Death penalty is a barbaric practice by itself. More so in the case of
a dubious case such as this with insufficient evidence.
What about the far more brutal murderers and rapists from the Bimaru
states that sit in the Indian parliament as MPs without even a single
case inching forward?
What do the hypocrites who are baying for Perarivalan's blood have to
say?

from:  Murali V
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 18:36 IST

According to the then Home Minister Dr. Subramanyan Swamy,(Recent video interview) the main culprit who plotted this assasination was Mrs Sonia Gandhi. According to Vaika and some others it is Dr. Swamy himself. Dr. Swamy is a credible former Home Minister at that time of the incident, Isn't that these accusations should be taken seriously and call for an open re trial to find the real perpetrators of this crime and release these innocent scapegoats.

from:  Thilana Hyder
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 17:52 IST

Killing a PM of this country is a heinous crime. You've got what you deserved..

from:  Vinodh
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 17:49 IST

Actual judgement is already given,that he is guilty.So far an above he
himself is asking for clemency i.e "mercy or leniency " for his acts,so
i am quite sure that he can not say that his clemency plea is rejected
on false ground.

from:  abhinav
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 16:46 IST

He should be suspended upside down from a tree till he comes to senses of his crime. In another country, he would have been hanged much before, and there would have been no regional political support to such elements!

from:  Vorshal
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 16:44 IST

At the first instance he must have been hanged 20 years back. Having gained 20 years grace time, thanks to judiciary/political inefficiency he has pulled on.

from:  Dehaleesan
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 14:39 IST

This is a genuine question and a reply is deserved.

from:  vijayan
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 14:08 IST

Amit, or for that matter any knowledgeable reader should understand
some basic facts before he makes a comment. Perarivalan was implicated
in Rajiv's murder case for carrying a bill for a 9 volt battery. He
was arrested after several days of the murder and found with the bill.
The bill was said to be from a shop in Poonamalee a remote suburb of
Chennai. Even in 2013 I dont think any shop in Poonamalee give a bill
for purchasing a battery let alone in 1991. If he really supplied the
battery for the belt bomb would he carry days after the assasination?
The CBI wants some scapegoat to save their ass I dont have to say who
is the scapegoat here. By the way if the battery suplier was awarded
gallows should the bomb maker be given atleast the same punishment?
did the police caught the manufacturer of the Bomb? A big no.

from:  Sundar
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 13:54 IST

There is only one basis which is obvious. That you are a murderer. of a former PM and 15 other innocent people

from:  karthik G
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 13:28 IST

sheer exploitation of democracy....especially indian democracy. when he
did not respect the right to life of another person, what right does he
have to ask why his rights are being denied-considering for a moment
that his rights are denied? let us not practice pseudo-democracy!

from:  srikanth
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 13:09 IST

Gross mis utilisation of democracy. A convict questioning the president
of India.

from:  Raj
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 12:32 IST

Mr. its a mercy petition and its not your will that he is going to
consider. what he thinks is right and wrong will come in his decision.
And you have murdered Mr. Gandhi the Prime Minister ... What do you
think anyone will need to reject you mercy petition.

As Supreme Court of India held that "the grant of pardon by the
President is an act of grace and, therefore, cannot be claimed as a
matter of right. The power exercisable by the President being
exclusively of administrative nature, is not justiciable."

from:  Vinay
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 12:04 IST

This is a classic example of the abuse of the freedoms and rights
given by the constitution by cold blooded murderers and terrorists.
This guy took part in an assassination plot of prominent national
leader hatched by a foreign terrorist organisation.
And the rather funny aspect is that he is asking why he was not given
mercy when he himself showed no mercy towards the victims.

from:  Amit
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 11:47 IST

Delay in Justices shall be considered as deny in Justice. However you killed our Prime Minister and how dare you are arguing for the rights, India's development has been switched OFF by you people, for a long period due to the loss of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi.

from:  luqmaan raja
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 09:52 IST

Sir,it;s wonder to know that 'death row convict in Rajiv assasination
case'seems to be law abiding citizen' too late.he easily forgets that
those killed by hem too have right to live.in TN all that part bigwick
&letter pad activists bat 4 convicts as those killed r not their kins
like wife,daughters,brothers etc?What right have the big wicks 'court
affairs'wether to say the judgement is right or wrong'

from:  kfishnan.m
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 08:22 IST

I am sure that Perarivalan should answer first on what basis he killed scores of innocent Indians

from:  Dr Vasan
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 06:50 IST

Now the murderer has even started questioning the President. Was there not a trial in a court of law and sentencing at the end of trial. Why he is not accepting the decision of the court ? He sure expects to be released . He should have thought about all these before murdering an innocent man. He did not follow the rule " Think before you leap " All the people who instigated him and helped him to commit the murder are now hiding or having fun to see him in a pitiable position. I think he has no escape. He has committed a gruesome murder and he should accept the after effects of his action. Gita says " You alone are responsible for your actions. " He alone is to be blamed and should accept the results.

from:  daisydoe
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 04:23 IST

When heinous crimes are committed which embroiled the whole country the executions must have been carried out almost instantly. When we were in Baghdad, an Indian businessman had bribed the Mayor of Baghdad and the Mayor was apprehended. He was hanged the next day after making a televised confession. That is the speed with which a state must punish
crime if it want its law abiding citizens to be safe.

from:  subbanarasu divakaran
Posted on: May 11, 2013 at 03:54 IST
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