Supreme Court orders release of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassin

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of one of the assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Exercising their powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the three judges of the Supreme Court ordered the release of AG Perarivalan, a convict in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

A three-judge Bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and AS Bopanna said that there was considerable delay by the Governor of Tamil Nadu in deciding the convict’s plea for remission under Article 161.

“State cabinet had taken its decision (to grant remission) based on relevant considerations. In exercise of Article 142, it is appropriate to release the convict,” the top court said, as reported by the Bar and Bench website.

In 2018, the then AIADMK government of Tamil Nadu had recommended the release of all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to the state governor Banwarilal Purohit.

These seven convicts whose release was recommended were Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini.

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on 21 May, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by an LTTE woman suicide bomber, Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed. The Sri Lankan military crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi had once shared what it was like hearing about the killing of the LTTE chief Prabhakaran in 2009. Speaking at Germany’s Bucerius Summer School, Rahul Gandhi had said that the news did not make him and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra happy as they felt that “the violence inflicted upon him had impacted others, including his children.”