The Supreme Court on Monday extended by a week the parole of convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, AG Perarivalan, as he was due for a medical check-up, Bar and Bench reported.
The court’s order was based on a petition by Perarivalan against the delay in his remission request, according to Hindustan Times. The petition has been pending with the governor since 2015.
The Supreme Court also said that Perarivalan should be given a police escort to go for the medical exam, according to The Hindu.
The Madras High Court had previously extended Perarivalan’s parole till November 23.
Political parties in Tamil Nadu, including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, have been pushing for releasing the convicts. Earlier this month, DMK chief Stalin had urged Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to accept the recommendation of the state Cabinet and remit the life sentence of all the convicts.
Stalin said the convicts had been “undergoing the agony of imprisonment” for more than three decades.
The DMK chief’s letter to the governor came a day after the Supreme Court expressed its unhappiness over the pendency of Perarivalan’s plea. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi said, “We don’t want to exercise our jurisdiction at this stage but we are not happy that recommendation made by the government is pending for two years.”
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991, when an operative of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam named Gayatri set off an RDX-laden belt she wore under her belt. The LTTE was seeking revenge for the Indian government’s decision to send troops to Sri Lanka to help the island-country fight the Tamil separatists.
In 1998, twenty six people were sentenced to death for the conspiracy, but a year later the Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of only four of them – Nalini Sriharan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan.
Three others were sentenced to life imprisonment and the remaining 19 were freed. In 2000, Nalini’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. She was granted a month’s parole in July, 2019 for her daughter’s wedding.