Chennai: "He was kind and even suggested a few corrections in my petition. I am so confident he will soon approve my son's release accepting the state cabinet's recommendation", said Arputhammal while speaking to reporters soon after meeting Governor Banwarilal Purohit and submitting her petition pleading for his approval of the cabinet recommending son A G Perarivalan's release.
"I explained my pain to the Governor. I explained my son's pathetic case to him. I pleaded for the release of all the seven. The Governor said he would take a decision very soon. I am hopeful", she said.
A never-say-die campaigner for the release of her son, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case serving life term in Vellore Central Jail after the commutation of his death sentence by the Supreme Court, sports a smile of hope every time she emerges from meeting some minister or dignitary with her petitions. Her latest attempt at the Raj Bhavan here Monday morning seemed to her the best hope-giver since the state cabinet passed its benevolent resolution (Sept 9) requesting Governor Purohit to order the release of all the seven convicts since they have already done about 28 years in jail. The Supreme Court recently asked the Governor to consider Perarivalan's mercy petition under Art 161 of the Constitution that gives him the power.
In her petition to the Governor, Arputhammal has also included some relevant documents, including the reported remarks of Justice KT Thomas, former judge of the Supreme Court, about "some serious flaws" in the CBI investigation of the case and also the positive reports from the jail officials regarding the good conduct of her son in prison.
Almost all the political parties and rights outfits have hailed the state cabinet resolution for releasing the convicts V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthanthiraraja alias Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini, under Article 161 of the Constitution which relates to the power of the governor to grant pardon and to suspend, remit and commute sentences in certain cases.
Before the state cabinet recommended the release of the convicts, the Supreme Court had asked the governor to consider the mercy petition of Perarivalan seeking remission or pardon under Article 161 of the Constitution while disposing of the Centre's petition opposing the state's 2014 decision for their release.
Perarivalan was a diploma holder in electronics and communication engineering at the time of arrest in June 1991. He completed his bachelors and masters in computer applications from the Indira Gandhi National Open University while still in jail.
He was convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case for supplying the 9-volt battery that was used to detonate the belt-bomb which killed Rajiv Gandhi and 15 others, including Dhanu, the suicide bomber, at an election rally at Sriperumbudur near here on May 21, 1991. Perarivalan was sentenced to death but the penalty was commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in 2014....