No SC relief yet for Rajiv case convict

Says not much headway made in probe

No SC relief yet for Rajiv case convict

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled out for now a plea to suspend the life sentence of a convict in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case pending completion of probe by CBI's Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) in the larger conspiracy aspect.

The apex court said the MDMA investigation does not appear to have achieved "much headway" and could be "endless" and, under such circumstances, there could be two options for the convict - either to seek early conclusion of the MDMA inquiry or reopening of the case regarding him.

"Releasing you at this stage perhaps will not be a correct thing to do," a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi said.

The court referred to the CBI reports filed in the matter relating to the plea of convict A G Perarivalan and observed that it does not appreciate his "single-point agenda" that the sentence be suspended pending completion of MDMA probe.

The MDMA, set up in 1998 on the recommendations of Justice M C Jain Commission of Inquiry which had probed the conspiracy aspect of Gandhi's assassination, is headed by a CBI official and comprises officers from IB, RAW and Revenue Intelligence and other agencies.

When the bench asked advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan, who appeared for the 45-year-old Perarivalan, that he has not sought reopening of the case, the counsel said their review petition has been decided and conviction has attained finality. The court then said that the matter required full length hearing and posted it for January 24.

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