Rajiv case: SC seeks CBI's view on plea to recall 1999 verdict upholding conviction

The court directed the next hearing on February 22.
Rajiv case: SC seeks CBI's view on plea to recall 1999 verdict upholding conviction
Rajiv case: SC seeks CBI's view on plea to recall 1999 verdict upholding conviction
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the CBI's response on a plea seeking the recall of its 1999 judgement upholding the conviction of seven accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R Banumathi sought the Central Bureau of Investigation's response on a plea by AG Perarivalan -- one of the seven convicts undergoing life imprisonment for his role in the conspiracy leading to the assassination of the former Prime Minister.

He has sought the recall after Superintendent of Police V Thiyagarajan, who recorded his confessional statement under TADA, said in an affidavit that the investigating agency suppressed the part of Perarivalan's statement that he was not aware of the conspiracy and the purpose for which the two 9-Volts batteries supplied by him would be used.

Perarivalan has further contended that on the recommendation of the Jain Commission of Inquiry, the CBI constituted a Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) to probe the larger conspiracy into the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, including the origin and make of IED that was used to assassinate the late Prime Minister. 

The CBI in its status report has already told the apex court that it could not investigate into the larger conspiracy as it did not get co-operation from the Sri Lankan authorities.

Perarivalan was accused of supplying batteries that were used in the explosive device that killed Gandhi at Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.

Perarivalan was convicted on the basis of his confessional statement, a part of which, Thiyagarajan said was suppressed by the CBI. 

Based on the statement of senior CBI officer, who investigated the case, Perarivalan had sought the suspension of the sentence and had also sought the outcome of the investigation by the MDMA. 

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Gogoi referred to the court's order on Tuesday asking the Centre to take a decision on Tamil Nadu government's February 19, 2014 proposal to release all the seven convicts. 

The Tamil Nadu government decided to grant remission of sentence of all the seven convicts, after a day earlier, on February 18, the top court commuted the death sentence into life imprisonment.

The decision of the Tamil Nadu government was stayed by the top court on February 20.

Referring to the January 23 order, Justice Gogoi told Gopal Shankarnarayan, counsel for Perarivalan, "When we have asked the State and the Centre to address the situation, why we should adopt different standards (in your case)."

As Gopal Shankarnarayan told the court that he has moved an application seeking the recall of the order, Justice Gogoi asked him: "What do you want. Why should we do. What is the basis of reopening the case."

The court gave an option to Shankarnarayan to wait till the remission issue is decided.

"You have an option to wait for the hearing till the remission is decided," Justice Gogoi told Shankarnarayan. 

The court directed the next hearing on February 22.

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