Centre gets time to respond to Nalini’s plea

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:18 pm IST

Published - September 09, 2014 12:38 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Supreme Court on Monday granted the Union Home Ministry four more weeks to respond to a petition by S. Nalini Srikaran, convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, against a Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC) provision requiring the Tamil Nadu government to seek the Centre’s permission to release her from prison.

A three-judge Bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha, granted the Ministry’s request for more time. The court issued notice to it on July 26 in the case.

Nalini, who has served 23 years in prison, challenged Section 435(1) of the Cr.PC that requires a State to seek permission from the Centre before it can remit the sentence of a convict whose offence was investigated and prosecuted by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Her petition said the provision created two types of life convicts — one with cases investigated by the State police and the other by the CBI. Every concession granted by the government should apply to all life convicts.

“Though 2,200 life convicts who had put in less than 10 years of imprisonment, were prematurely released by the Tamil Nadu government during the last 15 years, she was excluded from consideration for premature release only on the ground that her offence was investigated by the CBI; i.e., her case was covered by Section 435(1)(a) of the Cr.PC. The said Section is unconstitutional,” the petition said.

Nalini was awarded the death sentence on January 28, 1998. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Tamil Nadu Governor in April 2000.

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