The Madras High Court on Thursday extended the parole of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Nalini Sriharan by three weeks, India Today reported. Her furlough was supposed to end on August 25.

Earlier this week, the High Court had asked the Tamil Nadu government to file its response to Sriharan’s plea seeking a 30-day extension of her parole.

Sriharan was released on a 30-day parole on July 25 to attend her daughter’s wedding after an order from the High Court. She was instructed to stay at Sathuvachari in Vellore with her daughter Harithra Sriharan, mother Padmavati, sister Kalyani and brother Bhagyanathan. While passing its order, the court said Nalini Sriharan was not allowed to travel to her home in Chennai’s Royapettah neighbourhood.

Sriharan approached the court with her extension request after the deputy inspector general of prisons rejected her representation in a letter on August 13. She claimed she was unable to finish the arrangements for her daughter’s wedding despite “sincere efforts”.

Initially, the convict had asked for a six-month leave. The public prosecutor had then told the court that under the Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, a convict is granted a maximum of 30 days’ parole. The court observed that Rule 22 of the Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules provides for an extension that can be exercised only after the initial grant.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed in Sriperumbudur near Madras, now called Chennai, on May 21, 1991, when an operative of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam detonated her RDX-laden belt. The LTTE was seeking revenge for the Indian government’s decision to send troops to Sri Lanka to help the island nation fight the Tamil separatists.

In 1998, a court sentenced 26 people to death for the conspiracy, but a year later, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of only four of them – Nalini Sriharan, Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan and AG Perarivalan. Three others – Jayakumar, Robert Payas and Ravichandran – were sentenced to life imprisonment and the remaining 19 were freed. In 2000, Nalini’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

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