Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Cabinet on Sunday recommended to Governor Banwarilal Purohit to release all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case by invoking his powers under Art 161 of the Constitution.
A reporter asked minister Jayakumar if it was alright to release the convicts involved in the brutal killing of an ex-PM. “All that is past. The CBI probe and investigation is past. What is present? The Tamil people want their release”, shot back the minister.
The seven convicts — Murugan alias Sriharan, Nalini Sriharan, Santhan, A.G. Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas — have been in jail for the last 27 years amid several mercy petitions, court hearings, political rallies and human rights campaigns for their release. Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal, who has been fighting relentlessly through the years for his release, choked with emotion while expressing gratitude to the government as she faced the TV cameras soon after meeting CM Palaniswami with a bouquet of flowers.
The initiative was inspired by the Supreme Court directive to the TN Governor on Thursday to consider the mercy plea of Perarivalan and take a decision as “deemed fit”. The government decided to stretch the relief to cover not just Perarivalan but all the seven.
The resolution was welcomed by almost everyone in the state, barring a few legal experts who expressed opinion that the Governor might not be a rubber-stamp the recommendation and choose to consult the Attorney General and the Centre....