Tamil Nadu

SC to hear on Dec. 7 case of premature release of Rajiv assassination convicts

A case relating to the premature release of seven convicts undergoing life imprisonment for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is expected to be listed before the Supreme Court on December 7, the Tamil Nadu Government informed the Madras High Court on Monday.

Appearing before the first Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu, Advocate-General R. Shunmugasundaram said the case was filed by A.G. Perarivalan, one of the convicts, in 2016.

At the hearing of the case last year, the Supreme Court wanted to know the status of a recommendation made by the State Cabinet to the Governor on September 9, 2018, to release all the convicts by exercising power under Article 161 of the Constitution. In reply, the State Government on November 3, 2020, informed the Supreme Court that the Governor was waiting for the final report of the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), which had been constituted to probe the wider conspiracy behind the assassination, before taking a decision. At the subsequent hearing on January 21 this year, the Solicitor-General informed the Supreme Court that the Governor would take a decision on a remittance petition filed by Perarivalan, under Article 161 of the Constitution, within a week and apprise the court of the development. On February 4, the Union Home Ministry filed an affidavit that the Governor considered all facts on records and after perusal of the relevant documents, he had on January 25 decided that the President would be the appropriate authority to deal with the request. “The proposal received by the Central Government will be processed in accordance with law,” the Home Ministry had told the court. Since that case was expected to be heard by the Supreme Court shortly, the Division Bench adjourned by three weeks the hearing of similar petitions filed by other convicts S. Nalini and P. Ravichandran before the High Court.

Noting that the State Government had filed a counter-affidavit only in respect of the case filed by Nalini and urged the court to dismiss the plea to release her without waiting any more for the Governor’s assent, the Bench directed the Government to file a counter to Ravichandran’s petition, too, before the next hearing.

Mr. Shunmugasundaram said there was no change in the Government’s stand that all the convicts should be released prematurely. He explained that the Government had urged the court to dismiss Nalini’s case, because, as per law, she could not be released without the Governor’s assent.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 1:36:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sc-to-hear-on-dec-7-case-of-premature-release-of-rajiv-assassination-convicts/article37761536.ece

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