Law Minister Durai Murugan informed the Assembly on Monday that police were investigating the issue of Nalini, convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, making phone calls from her cell.

Responding to D. Sudarssanam (Congress), who contended that this was a serious offence, he said so far, the police had only found that she had spoken to her daughter and relatives in Sri Lanka. They were investigating if she had made more calls, and, if so, to whom. As and when he had information, he would share it in the Assembly.

Mr. Sudarssanam said the government should not view this case in the same manner as cell phones being seized from other petty criminals. This was a person who had plotted against a nation and was part of the assassination plot. It should be viewed with the seriousness it deserved.

There was a huge lapse in the prison administration and this needed to be investigated. How did she come to possess multiple SIM cards, he asked and wondered how it got past so many levels of security and reached her.

Mr. Durai Murugan said it should not be forgotten that jail officials had discovered that she had a phone; not some agency from outside.

V. Sivapunniyam (CPI) wanted to know why Congress president Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi had visited her if Nalini was a dangerous criminal.

S. Peter Alphonse (Congress) responded saying that an individual decision to achieve closure of a case and to pardon could be confused with the provisions of law. One Pope had met the person who tried to shoot him and forgive him. Ms. Priyanka's act was similar. But, that did not diminish the crime in the eyes of the law. Mr. Sudarssanam suggested that the State approach the Centre for technological aid if it was unable to find out who all Nalini had telephoned from her cell.