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Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Nalini moves HC again, demands early release

Published Dec 15, 2015, 3:42 pm IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 5:52 pm IST
Nalini submitted that she has undergone imprisonment for more than 24 years.
Late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (Photo: PTI/File)
 Late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (Photo: PTI/File)

Chennai: Nalini Sriharan, undergoing life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, again moved the Madras High Court on Monday seeking a direction to Tamil Nadu government to consider her representation for premature release.

Nalini, now confined in the Special Prison for women in Vellore, submitted that she has undergone imprisonment for more than 24 years. She was first awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court and subsequently Tamil Nadu government under Article 161 of the Constitution commuted her sentence to life on April 24 2000.


Stating that about 2,200 life convicts who had served 10 years of sentence had been released by Tamil Nadu, she said it had not considered her release on the ground that her case falls under a different section of Code of criminal procedure.

She submitted Tamil Nadu government has framed a scheme of premature release of life convicts who had completed 20 years of actual imprisonment. A Government Order was also passed on November 10, 1994 even under which she was not considered for release, she said.

Claiming that she is eligible to be considered for premature release under this scheme, Nalini submitted that she had made a representation on October 22, 2014 to the state government to consider her premature release but government was yet to decide on the representation.

She sought a direction from the court to decide on her representation within a reasonable time.

Nalini was sentenced to death by the trial court in the case on January 28, 1998. Her sentence was commuted to life term by the Tamil Nadu Governor on April 24, 2000.

The seven convicts are Robert Pious, V Sriharan, Santhan, Jaya Kumar, Arivu, Nalini and Ravichandran.

The Centre had last year contended that the TN government can't release the convicts without its approval and had opposed the state government's decision to release them.

After the apex court had commuted the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, the state government had on February 19 last year proposed to remit the sentences of all seven lifers, including the three, and release them.

This decision was challenged by the Centre before the SC which had stayed it and referred it to a Constitution Bench.

The court had on February 20 stayed the decision to release Murugan, Santhan and Arivu--whose sentence was commuted to life by it on February 18, saying there had been procedural lapses on the part of the state government on the decision to release them.

It had later on also stayed the release of convicts Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran in the case. Santhan, Murugan and Arivu are currently lodged in the Central Prison, Vellore, and they are in jail since 1991.

The other four are also serving life term for their role in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbudur.

Location: Tamil Nadu

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