Arputhammal, mother of life convict A.G Perarivalan in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has sought the mercy killing of her son. He has been in prison for over 27 years now.
Her appeal to the Central and Tamil Nadu governments comes in the wake of President Ram Nath Kovind rejecting State government’s request to release the seven prisoners convicted for the assassination of the former Prime Minister on the night of May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai.
Reacting to the President’s decision, Ms. Arputhammal told The Hindu that she had been let down both by the Centre and the State. After giving her hope that her son would be released, the State had not pursued his case effectively.
“Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa assured me that my son would come home soon . We feel dejected now...I am going to write to the central and state governments seeking mercy killing of my son. He has already suffered 27 years of incarceration and is down with various ailments. I can’t see him suffer anymore, it is better that the government kills him. You [the government] couldn’t use your powers to release him, at least kill him to end his suffering,” she said.
Perarivalan’s counsel S. Prabu Ramasubramanian said the Centre had sought to reply to Tamil Nadu’s petition seeking concurrence on the premature release of the convicts by routing its decision through Rashtrapati Bhavan.
By doing so, the Centre had snatched the powers of the State to approach the Governor to pardon the convicts by exercising his powers under Article 161. Quoting a Supreme Court judgment, he said every document and decision of the government authorities, including the President of India, was subject to judicial scrutiny.
“We will challenge the decision of the President against the release of the convicts. The pardoning powers of the President and the Governor are similar but not the same,” Mr. Ramasubramanian said.