TN Cabinet meet to decide Rajiv convicts' release

TN govt has powers to release Rajiv convicts: SC

The Supreme Court today asked the Tamil Nadu Governor to consider the mercy petition of A G Perarivalan, a convict in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Naveen Sinha and K M Joseph disposed of the Centre’s petition regarding a proposal for the release of the convicts, filed by the Tamil Nadu government.

The State government should recommend the Governor to acquit the seven members who have served jail time for nearly three decades, the apex court said.

The convicts are V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santham, A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, P Ravichandaran and Nalini.

The apex court had on 18 February, 2014, commuted death sentence of three convicts – Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan – citing inordinate delay by the executive in deciding their mercy plea.

Last month, the SC aaccepted on record a communication from the Central government rejecting a proposal made by the Tamil Nadu government to release seven convicts undergoing life imprisonment in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The assassination was an unparalleled act in the annals of crimes committed in this country, the Centre, in a letter, has told the State government.

“The brutal act brought the Indian democratic process to a grinding halt inasmuch as the general elections to the Lok Sabha and Assemblies in some States had to be postponed,” the Centre said.