DMK asks TN Guv to release Rajiv Gandhi case convicts

DMK delegation meets Governor; demands release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber on May 21, 1991, in Sriperumbudur, 50 km from Chennai, during an election campaign meeting

DMK President M K Stalin and Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Credit: PTI Photos

A delegation led by DMK President M K Stalin on Tuesday met Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit demanding the immediate release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case by accepting a decision taken by the state cabinet in 2018.

Stalin submitted a memorandum to Purohit, who is sitting on the recommendation by the state government date September 9, 2018, allowing the release of seven persons whose death sentences were commuted to life term.

The government has been pushing for the release of Nalini, her husband Murugan, Santhan, A G Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P Ravichandran. 

“It is clearly spelt out in the Article 161 of the Constitution of India that the Governor of a State has the power to suspend, remit or commute any sentence of a person convicted of an offence under any law to which the power of the State extends. Though the Cabinet has recommended for release, Your Excellency has been keeping it pending for more than two years, which has been causing grave and irreparable hardship and injustice to the suffering convicts,” Stalin said.

The Leader of Opposition also told the governor that the CBI had informed the Supreme Court on November 20 that the relief prayed for by Perarivalan is an issue between him and the Governor of Tamil Nadu. “That in so far as relief is concerned in the present matter CBI has no role,” the DMK chief said.

“In view of the above affidavit filed by the CBI, there is absolutely no impediment for your Excellency to accept the recommendation of the State Cabinet under Art 163. The fact that the recommendation of the State Cabinet has been kept pending for over two years by your office reflects poorly on the State administration and gives an impression that the State is not run in accordance with the law,” he said.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu have been demanding the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case for the past few years. However, the Centre argues that the powers to order their release rests only with it.