The Supreme Court on September 26, 2022 sought a response from the State of Tamil Nadu to petitions for premature release filed by S. Nalini and R P. Ravichandran, serving life sentence in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
A Bench led by Justice B.R. Gavai and B.V. Nagarathna issued notice to the State and listed the case for hearing on October 10. The court asked the petitioners to serve a copy to Additional Solicitor General of India K.M. Nataraj.
The Madras High Court had in June dismissed the writ petitions filed by Nalini and Ravichandran, who had sought a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to release them forthwith without waiting anymore for the Governor’s nod to a September 9, 2018 Cabinet recommendation.
The High Court had held that the Governor’s signature was sine qua non under Article 161 of the Constitution.
The High Court had also observed that it could not exercise extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to pass an order similar to the one which released A.G. Perarivalan, another convict in the assassination case, on May 18.
The Supreme Court had earlier invoked Article 142 to release Perarivalan, who had served over 30 years in prison.