The Supreme Court on Monday granted a one-week extension AG Perarivalan, an accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has been granted a one week extension in his parole by the the Supreme court for medical-checkup. The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi also directed the Tamil Nadu government to provide police escort to Perarivalan during his visit to doctors in a hospital. Perarivalanâ€™s parole was to end on Mondaya and now has been extended by a week.
Perarivalan had also sought the abeyance of his life sentence until the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) probe was completed, and the Supreme Court said it will deal with the issue of grant of remission in January, when it will finally dispose of the case.
The Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) had said that it is up to the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohitâ€™s office to take a call on Perarivalanâ€™s release. The CBI in its affidavit had said â€śIt is for the His Excellency Governor of Tamil Nadu to take call on the issue whether remission is to be granted or not and in so far as relief is concerned in the present matter CBI has no role.â€ť
The plea seeking releasing of all the seven convicts in the 1991 assassination case has been pending with the Tamil Nadu Governorâ€™s office for two years now. The top court has posted the matter for hearing in January 2021.
The top court was hearing the plea of 46-year-old Perarivalan seeking suspension of his life sentence in the case till the MDMA probe is completed.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, in Chennai at Sriperumbudur by an LTTE suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally. At least fifteen people, including Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Dhanu as well, were killed. Four others, Perarivalan, Murugan, Santham and Nalini, were sentenced to death for their involvement in the assassination.
In 2000, Nalini Sriharanâ€™s death sentence was commuted to life after the state governmentâ€™s recommendation and an appeal by the incumbent Congress president and Gandhiâ€™s widow Sonia Gandhi.
In 2014, the Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan to life imprisonment, on the grounds of an 11-year delay in deciding their mercy pleas by the Union government.