The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear arguments of a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case who wants his case to be reopened, PTI reported. In October, a former investigation officer had said that parts of AG Perarivalan’s confession, which could have proved his innocence, were deliberately omitted in court earlier.

Perarivalan has spent 26 years in jail – 23 of those in solitary confinement.

The court also said that the inquiry led by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the conspiracy behind the assassination of the former prime minister in 1991 had not made much progress and seemed “endless”.

On November 14, the Supreme Court had asked the government to respond in two weeks whether it was willing to free Perarivalan.

His lawyer had told the court that he was jailed for supplying two nine-volt batteries that were used in the bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi. But in a sworn statement to the court on October 27, former CBI officer V Thiagarajan had said the agency omitted the part of Perarivalan’s confession where he said he had “absolutely no idea” what the batteries would be used for.

Thiagarajan had said the CBI became aware of Perarivalan’s ignorance about the conspiracy as the investigation progressed, and that freeing him was “long overdue”.

In February 2014, the court had commuted Perarivalan’s death sentence to life imprisonment, on grounds of an 11-year delay by the Centre in deciding their mercy pleas.