HC allows Nalini to appear in person to argue for parole

The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted permission to Nalini Sriharan, serving life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, to appear in person on July 5 to argue her plea for six months’ ordinary leave to make arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.

The Bench of Justices MM Sundaresh and M Nirmal Kumar allowed Nalini’s plea for arguing her case personally after it was informed that she was unwilling to make her submissions through video conferencing instead. The State had made the suggestion to use video conference last week.

Nalini, who has been in prison for over 27 years, wanted the court to direct the superintendent of police, Special Prison for Women in Vellore, to produce her before the court so that she could argue her case for leave as party-in-person.

Nalini’s daughter Harithra lives in London. Her husband Murugan is serving a life sentence for the same crime. Nalini’s mother Padmavathi had parallelly approached authorities, including IG of Prisons, seeking ordinary leave for her daughter.

According to Nalini, a life convict is entitled to one-month leave once in two years and since she had never availed such ordinary leave for more than 27 years, she made a representation to prison authorities on 25 February seeking a six-month leave to make arrangement for her daughter’s marriage.

During the earlier hearing on June 11, the Court sought to know what hurdles were there in producing Nalini before the court, since she wanted to argue in-person a case.

When the government had objected to it citing security reasons and suggested that she might be produced through video conferencing from Vellore prison, the Judges directed the government to spell out the problems in producing her in person.