Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini Sriharan seeks early release, writes to Tamil Nadu home secretary

Nalini Sriharan's plea comes days after the top court asked the Tamil Nadu governor to consider the mercy plea of another convict in the Rajiv Gandhi case.

Press Trust of India September 08, 2018 23:44:01 IST
Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini Sriharan seeks early release, writes to Tamil Nadu home secretary

Vellore: Nalini Sriharan, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has forwarded a petition to the Tamil Nadu home secretary, urging the government to consider her plea for early release.

The plea comes two days after the Supreme Court asked the Tamil Nadu governor to consider the mercy petition of AG Perarivalan, another convict in the 1991 case.

A life convict at the Special Prison for Women in Vellore, Nalini in her petition recalled that she had made a representation on 22 February, 2014, to the government, seeking her release under Article 161 of the Constitution, which deals with the judicial powers of the governor of a state.

Her plea for release was in accordance with the state government's 1994 Scheme of Premature Release of Life Convicts, she said.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini Sriharan seeks early release writes to Tamil Nadu home secretary

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on 21 May, 1991 at Sriperumbudur near Chennai by an LTTE woman suicide bomber, Dhanu, at an election rally. Reuters

In her petition, which she forwarded through the superintendent of prisons in Vellore on Friday and made available to the media, she said that after her 2014 petition, she moved the high court in 2015, seeking a direction to the government to consider her plea for release.

In its order dated 20 July, 2016, the Madras High Court had said that the authorities were at liberty to consider her representation in accordance with law, subject to the outcome of another writ petition in the Supreme Court. The high court's judgment was confirmed by a division bench in its order of 27 April, 2018, Nalini said.

Days ago, "the Supreme Court had disposed of" a related pending petition, too, she said. In view of the ruling of the Madras High Court and the apex court disposing of a related plea, Nalini said "my representation dated 22 February, 2014, seeking release under Article 161 of the Constitution in accordance with the said scheme... may be considered, and I may be released from prison at an early date."

She said she was "fully eligible" to be released under the scheme.

The Supreme Court has disposed of a petition by the Centre regarding a proposal for the release of the convicts, filed by the Tamil Nadu government.

The Centre had on 10 August told the apex court that it does not concur with the Tamil Nadu government's proposal to release the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, saying remission of their sentence will set a "dangerous precedent" and have "international ramifications."

On 23 January, the top had asked the Centre to make a decision within three months on a 2016 letter of the Tamil Nadu government written on 2 March, 2016, seeking its concurrence on releasing the seven convicts.

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of 21 May, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a female suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.

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