Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Government on Saturday expressed confidence that Governor Banwarilal Purohit would take a decision soon on its recommendation for the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case but said he cannot be “compelled.”
The Governor cannot be “compelled” in the matter, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters here, even as the state cabinet’s recommendation for their release is pending with him.
Underlining the AIADMK government’s “sincerity” towards the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Jayakumar said this was evident from the fact that the state cabinet met on a Sunday (September 9), where it decided to recommend to Purohit their release. “It is a cabinet decision, which means not only the Chief Minister and Ministers (were involved) but it was reflective of the sentiments of all Tamils. The fact that the cabinet meeting was held on a Sunday shows how sincere the government is for their release,” he said.
At the same time, pointed out the Minister, the Governor cannot be compelled. “The government has taken a cabinet decision and the Governor will for sure respect it and take a due decision soon. That confidence is there,” he said.
The state cabinet had earlier decided to recommend to the Governor the release of Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini, all serving life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The TN decision was taken following the Supreme Court asking the Governor to consider the mercy petition of Perarivalan seeking remission or pardon under Article 161 of the Constitution. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at his election rally in Sriperumbudur near here by an LTTE woman suicide bomber.
Minister Jayakumar, referring to the three AIADMK life convicts who recently walked free from the prison following Governor Purohit granting them remission in the ‘Dharmapuri bus-burning case’ of 2000-in which three women students were burnt alive in the bus-insisted that the party men had “no malafide intention” and were overtaken by mob frenzy. The state officials explained this and also the verdict of the Supreme Court in this case to the Governor before he took the remission decision, Jayakumar said.
He said the three AIADMK members, A Nedunchezhian, G Ravindran and C Muniappan, had served over 10 years of the life term. They had been earlier awarded death sentence but that was commuted to life by the Supreme Court. They were convicted of murder of three students of TN Agricultural University, Kokilavani, Gayathri and Hemalatha, by setting fire to their college bus during the AIADMK agitation against the conviction of Jayalalithaa in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case on February 2, 2000. Over 40 other students and two college lecturers had managed to escape from the blazing bus in that gory incident that later came to be dubbed as ‘mob frenzy’ that did not deserve to deliver capital punishment on the perpetrators who just got carried away by anger over their leader’s conviction for corruption by a court of law.
Governor Purohit ordered the release of the three AIADMK men in commemoration of the birth anniversary celebrations of former Chief Minister MGR....