The Madras High Court on Thursday granted three weeks extension of parole for S Nalini, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. This, after she approached the court on Tuesday seeking extension of her parole by a month. Her original parole period was to end on August 25.
The HC had earlier granted 30 days parole for Nalini to make arrangements for her daughter's wedding. In a fresh appeal to the court, however, the convict claimed that she could not complete the tasks required for the marriage despite her best efforts. The plea was admitted by a division bench of Justices MM Sundresh and M Nirmal Kumar.
Nalini's parole period had begun on July 25. She was escorted out of the Vellore Central Prisonâ€™s womenâ€™s cell accompanied by a posse of police officers. This is the first time that Nalini, who was accused number one in the case and has served 28 years in prison since 1991, is out on a long parole. She had earlier been granted a 24-hour parole in March 2016 to attend the last rites of her father.
In April, Nalini had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Madras High Court seeking ordinary leave for six months. In her plea, Nalini had reasoned that every life convict was entitled to one month of ordinary leave after completing two years in prison and she had not availed the leave even once during the past 28 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.
The court, however, finally granted her only a month of parole.
These developments come even as other the other convicts - Murugan, Santhan, Robert Payas, Ravichandran, Jayakumar and Perarivalan along with Nalini, await a decision by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on their release, as recommended by the state government under Article 161 of the Constitution.