Rajiv Gandhi Assassin Nalini's Plea For Release Rejected By Tamil Nadu Government

Nalini was first awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court and subsequently the Tamil Nadu government under Article 161.

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Rajiv Gandhi Assassin Nalini's Plea For Release Rejected By Tamil Nadu Government

Rajiv Gandhi assassin Nalini filed a plea for premature release.


Chennai:  The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that it cannot entertain a plea of Nalini Sriharan, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking premature release as a similar case was pending before the top court.

Deputy secretary of the state home department filed a counter affidavit to Nalini's petition.

In response to a habeas corpus petition pending before a Division Bench headed by Justice Rajiv Shakdher in the Madras High Court filed by Nalini, the government in its counter said, "She is a party respondent in a plea pending before the Supreme Court in connection with remission of sentences of all seven convicts in the case, moved by the central government.

"The plea has been referred to the Constitution Bench of the court which is yet to be decided. In view of the same, the high court cannot interfere in the issue," the counter affidavit said.

The department through its counter affidavit also submitted that the request made by Nalini through the state government's scheme for premature release of life convicts who have already completed 20 years of imprisonment, had already been rejected by the advisory committee constituted for the purpose on more than two occasions.

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991, and seven persons---Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran---were convicted in the case.

Payas and Jayakumar were sentenced to death for their role in the assassination, but their sentence was later commuted to life by the Supreme Court in 1999.

Nalini was first awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court and subsequently the Tamil Nadu government under Article 161 of the constitution commuted her sentence to life on April 24, 2000.


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