Supreme Court releases Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict
Guwahati: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict AG Perarivalan who has been in jail for 32 years.
The top court has been mulling if it should give bail to Perarivalan as the Governor is yet to decide on his plea seeking release from prison.
A Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai found Perarivalan was entitled to be released on bail considering his conduct during his long incarceration, including acquisition of education qualifications, and ill-health.
“Taking into account the fact that the applicant has spent over 30 years in prison, we are of the considered view that he is entitled to be released on bail,” the bench said.
Overruling the Centre’s opposition to his release on bail, the Bench noted that he has been released on parole thrice and there have been no complaints about his conduct.
At the end of a nearly hour-long hearing, the court listed Perarivalan’s case for further hearing in April on the question of the powers of the Governor to decide the question of his early release, which was approved by the Tamil Nadu Cabinet, and the Governor’s reference of the matter to the President.
Perarivalan—is currently on parole—will have to fulfill the bail conditions imposed by the trial court and report to the CBI on the first day of every month, the Bench said.
The top court had in 2014 commuted the death penalty of Perarivalan and two other convicts to life imprisonment on the ground of inordinate delay in deciding their mercy petitions.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally.
In its May 1999 order, the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence of four convicts — Perarivalan, Murugan, Santham and Nalini.