Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Madras HC adjourns Murugan's plea to meet mother in prison

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday adjourned a plea of V Sriharan alias Murugan, one of the seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking permission to meet his mother in prison.

He had sought permission to meet his mother, who has come from Sri Lanka, on any day between 22 and 27 May.

A vacation bench of Justices R Mahadevan and M Govindaraj refused to entertain and adjourned the petition of Sriharan, after summer vacation.

When the matter came up, Additional Public Prosecutor Govindaraj said permission cannot be given to the prisoner as he was caught using cell phone inside the prison recently.

The petitioner submitted that as a punishment for his misconduct, the Superintendent of Central Prison Vellore had withdrawn the privilege of meeting even his wife Nalini, another life convict in the case, for about 30 minutes for every 15 days.

The privilege of meeting family members for prison inmates is granted as per Rule 525 of Tamil Nadu Prison rules.

File photo of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Murugan. Reuters

File photo of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Murugan. Reuters

Nalini is lodged in the special women cell at the Vellore Central Prison.

He said the prison authority had prohibited any meeting with friends and relatives in prison for a period of three months. Even his aged mother, who had come from Sri Lanka on 2 April to meet him in the prison between 11 and 18 April, was not allowed to meet him, he added.

He said he had made a representation through the Superintendent of Central Prison, Vellore to Additional Director General of Police and Inspector General of Prisons at Egmore, Chennai to suspend the punishment to enable him to see his mother when she visits the prison.

The petitioner said his mother herself had made a representation in this connection.

He sought a court direction to the authorities to consider his plea and permit him to meet his mother, whose visa is due to expire by the end of this month, on any date between May 22 and 27.

Rajiv was killed by a suicide bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur on 21 May, 1991 and seven persons — Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran, were convicted in the case.

Nalini was first awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court and subsequently the Tamil Nadu government under Article 161 of the Constitution commuted her sentence to life on 24 April, 2000.

In February 2014, the apex court had commuted the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan following delay in deciding on their mercy plea. Murugan is lodged in the Central Prison at Ve llore for the past 26 years.

The summer vacation of the court is from 2 May to 31 May.


Updated Date: May 17, 2017 15:19 PM

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