Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Nalini Sriharan stepped into the Madras High Court on Friday with high security to argue for a six-month parole to organise her daughter's wedding. Based on the prosecution's arguments, however, the court denied her request and granted her one-month parole with multiple conditions.
In April, she had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Madras High Court seeking ordinary leave for six months. In her plea, Nalini had said every life convict was entitled to one month of ordinary leave after completing two years in prison and she had not taken the leave even once during the past 27 years she had spent in jail. The Madras High Court, in June, allowed Nalini to argue her parole case in person and ordered the Vellore Central Prison authorities to produce her on July 5. She had earlier been granted a 24-hour parole in March 2016 to attend her father's last rites.
In court on Friday, Nalini argued that she has been unable to attend to any of her daughter's need owing to her imprisonment. Her ward currently lives in London with her grandparents. And that as a mother she wanted to perform her duties.
The prosecution lawyer A Natarajan however, maintained that a prisoner convicted for life can only get parole of one month at a stretch.
Justices M M Sundaresh and M Nirmal Kumar who listened to both sides, then agreed that Nalini can only be given a one-month parole. The court further ordered that she give information regarding where she will be staying and who she will be staying with. Police were further directed to conduct inquiries to confirm the same.
In addition to this, Nalini has been warned against giving interviews or meeting media persons and told her not to meet any members of political parties.
In 2016, she was granted parole two time. First to attend her father's cremation and later for the final rites. Even then, she had requested for a three-day parole but was only granted 24 hours by Justice R Mala.
Nalini, her husband Murugan and five others are serving life imprisonment in the case related to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by an LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.