The Madras High Court on Wednesday made it clear that the Governor of Tamil Nadu,a constitutional authority, cannot sit on the state's recommendation on release of all seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case for so long and directed the Registry to inform counsel for the Governor's office to get instructions on the matter.
"No time limit is prescribed for such authorities to decide on such issues only because of the faith and trust attached to the constitutional post. If such authority fails to take a decision within a reasonable time, then the court will be constrained to interfere," a division bench, comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and VM Velumani said.
The bench made the observations while hearing a Habeas Corpus Petition moved by T Arputham, mother of life convict AG Perarivalan. She requested the court to grant 90 days parole to her son, who needs immediate medical attention in view of various ailments.
She submitted that Perarivalan is vulnerable to COVID-19 infection in the prison as he suffers chronic illness.
Arputham said that in view of this, her son has been regularly taken to Stanley Government Medical Hospital for the past five years.
On February 21, he was treated there for prostate and urinary infection and advised to come for a review after 15 days.
"But he was not taken for the review as prescribed and suffers unbearable pain due to denial of proper treatment," senior advocate R Shanmugasundaram, representing Arputham, said.
Recording the submissions, the bench directed the prosecutor to get instructions from the state government on the parole request.
It directed the registry to inform the counsel for the governors office to get appropriate instruction as to the disposal of the recommendation to release the life convicts. The court then adjourned the hearing to July 29.
Beside Nalini Sriharan and her husband, the others convicted in the case are A G Perarivalan, Santhan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Robert Pyas.
All are serving life imprisonment for their role in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991 by an LTTE suicide-bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur.