Another Rajiv convict requests parole, court seeks responose from govt

The Madras High Court has sought the response of the Prisons Department to a habeas corpus petition filed by B Robert Payas, 50, a life convict in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case, seeking 30 days of ordinary leave to make arrangements for the marriage of his 28-year-old son, residing in the Netherlands.

A division bench of Justices MM Sundresh and RMT Teekaa Raaman ordered notice to Deputy Inspector General of Police, Prisons and the Superintendent of Police, Central Prison, Puzhal returnable by two weeks. The petitioner submitted that he has been in prison since August 16, 1991 and has completed actual imprisonment of more than 28 years.

The present plea was filed after S. Nalini, another life convict in the same case, filed a similar petition in April, seeking six months’ leave to make arrangements for the wedding of her daughter, residing in London. The court had, on July 5, granter her ordinary leave for a month and later extended it by another month.

After the Court refused to grant another extension, she was escorted back to Vellore Prison recently.  Nalini was granted parole for 51 days by the High Court to make arrangements for her daughter’s marriage.

In his affidavit, Payas said he was a Sri Lankan refugee who came to India with his wife R. Prema on September 20, 1990. At that time, his wife was pregnant, and gave birth to a baby boy on February 6, 1991 at a private hospital in Chetpet. Subsequently, he was arrested in connection with the former PM’s assassination case on June 10, 1991.

Robert Payas and six other people are serving life imprisonment in the case related to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by a suicide bomber at an election rally in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.

Even as he was under incarceration, his wife had travelled back to Sri Lanka, along with their child, in 1993. “Now, for the past eight years, my son Robert Payas Thamilko had moved to Netherlands,” he said.