Home / News / India /  Rajiv Gandhi assassination: SC notice to Centre, TN on convicts' plea

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices seeking responses from Centre and the Tamil Nadu government on plea filed by two convict serving life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, for early release.

Justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna issued notices to the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government and sought their replies on the pleas filed by Nalini Sriharan and R P Ravichandran.

Nalini challenged the June 17 order of the Madras High Court, which rejected her plea and cited the top court's judgement ordering the release of co-convict A G Perarivalan.

The high court on June 17 had rejected the petitions of the convicts without even the consent of the state's governor.

Under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution high courts do not have the power, unlike the Supreme Court which has the special power under Article 142, the court had said while rejecting their pleas.

The Supreme Court under Article 142 of the Constitution, had ordered the release of Perarivalan, who had served over 30 years in jail, and said the Tamil Nadu governor ought not to have sent the "binding" advice made by the state cabinet for his release to the president.

The apex court said that the advice of the state cabinet is binding on the governor in matters related to commutation or remission of sentences under Article 161 of the Constitution.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a rally.

In the May 1999 order, the apex court had upheld the death sentence of four convicts Perarivalan, Murugan, Santhan and Nalini.

However, in 2014, it commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment along with Santhan and Murugan on grounds of delay in deciding their mercy petitions.

Nalini's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2001 on the consideration that she has a daughter.

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