Tamil Nadu

SC seeks fresh status report from CBI

Perarivalan says Central agency yet to conclude probe into making of bomb

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a fresh status report on its probe into the larger conspiracy behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu in 1991. A Bench led by L. Nageswara Rao gave the CBI four weeks’ time to file the report.

The order came on a plea made by a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, A.G. Perarivalan, that the CBI’s Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), probing the larger conspiracy behind the assassination, is yet to conclude its investigation pertaining to the origin and make of the bomb.

Perarivalan, who is in mid-forties, has spent about a quarter of a century in jail serving his life imprisonment. He was 19 years old at the time of his arrest. He has sought an order from the court to stay his life sentence till the MDMA probe into the larger conspiracy is completed.

Perarivalan argued that the CBI has still not been able to question Nixon @ Suren, one of the 21 suspects the MDMA is investigating, who allegedly knows about the making of the bomb. He contended his role in the alleged crime taken to the maximum would be that of supplying two nine-volt batteries without the knowledge of what it was going to be used for.

He said his confession under the lapsed TADA to a police officer was not valid evidence. The Tamil Nadu government had in 2014 already taken the stand to release him forthwith.

Internal evidence

“Further, it is essential to state that D.R. Karthikeyan, who was the head of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) CBI, has made statements that the IED was made in Sri Lanka. The internal evidence shows that the nine-volt battery was soldered with IED. If that being the case then in all chance that it could be said that the alleged nine-volt batteries given by the petitioner were not at all used in the IED,” Perarivalan has argued.

He also banked on a coded wireless message from Sivarasan, the mastermind, to Pottu Amman in Sri Lanka, that only he (Sivarasan), Subha and the suicide bomber, Dhanu, knew of the conspiracy to kill Mr. Gandhi.

Alleging that “a grave prejudice” has been caused on him, Perarivalan said he was a “19-year-old boy when his mother handed over to the CBI. Now he is 45 years old and lost all his prime youth in prison, that too on death row and in solitary confinement for more than 16 years”. He said his “aged mother and father are waiting for their only son to join at least in the last years of their life”.

Describing his case as “unique” and relating the harsh circumstances under which he pursued an education in prison, he said his health had taken a severe beating from the effects of “death row syndrome”.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:38:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sc-seeks-fresh-status-report-from-cbi/article29891566.ece

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