The Supreme Court has dismissed all pleas opposing the release of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday, dismissed pleas of families of those killed along with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, objecting the Tamil Nadu government's 2014 decision to release seven convicts in the case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "All aspects were covered in the earlier constitution bench verdict in the case and therefore nothing survives in the case".
In 2014, the then J Jayalalithaa-led government had decided on the early release of the seven convicts in the case.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.
The seven convicts in the case are AG Perarivalan, V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini Sriharan.
Nalini Sriharan - India’s longest serving woman prisoner and one of the convicts filed a petition before the Madras high court against Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
Nalini petitioned that Banwarilal had delayed countersigning the proposal of the Tamil Nadu cabinet for the release of the convicts.
The petition submitted by Nalini’s counsel states that this delay is a "failure of the constitutional machinery" in the state.
A media report stated that Nalini’s advocate Radhakrishnan cited the Supreme Court’s order in the case Maru Ram Vs Union of India in which a five-member constitution bench stated that the power under Article 72 and 161 could be exercised by the state and Centre, not by the President or Governor.
In April, Nalini approached the Madras high court seeking permission to make a personal appearance to make an argument for herself as she wanted six months leave to make arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.
The Tamil Nadu cabinet had in September 2018 passed a resolution recommending the release of the convicts in the case to the Governor under Article 161, which deals with the judicial powers of a state’s governor.
Madras high court, in its order dated July 20, 2016, had stated that the authorities were at liberty to consider Nalini’s representation subject to the outcome of another writ petition in the Supreme Court.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.
Last Updated 4:16 PM IST