Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday said it is ready to release all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and sought the centre’s opinion.
Tamil Nadu chief secretary K. Gnanadesikan wrote to Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi saying the government had received petitions from the seven convicts asking to be released as they had spent more than 20 years in prison.
A.G. Perarivalan, V. Sriharan alias Murugan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran have served 24 years in prison.
“Nalini has also filed a petition in the Madras high court seeking her release. After receiving these petitions the government has decided to remit their sentences and release them as they have served 24 years in prison. Of the seven convicts, four are foreigners," said Gnanadesikan.
Murugan, Santhan, Jayakumar and Robert Payas are Sri Lankan nationals.
The Supreme Court in 1999 had found all the seven guilty of involvement in the assassination of the former prime minister on 21 May 1991 during an election rally at Sriperumbudur.
While Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan’s death sentences were commuted to life by the Supreme Court in 2014, Nalini death sentence was commuted to life by the state cabinet in 2000. The other three are serving life sentences.