DMK delegation meets TN governor Banwarilal Purohit in Chennai, demanding the release of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convicts
DMK delegation meets TN governor Banwarilal Purohit in Chennai, demanding the release of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convicts

DMK president MK Stalin on Tuesday met Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit in Chennai, demanding the release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Perarivalan and others.

This comes as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has told the Supreme Court that the Tamil Nadu governor has to take a call on the grant of remission to Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict AG Perarivalan, who is serving life sentence in the case.

"Governor said that an appropriate decision will be taken & we hope for a good decision," Stalin said after the meeting.

In its affidavit filed on November 20, the CBI said that Perarivalan is not the subject matter of further investigation carried out by the CBI-led Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) which is conducting a probe on the "larger conspiracy" aspect as per the mandate of Jain Commission report.

The top court is hearing a plea of 46-year-old Perarivalan seeking suspension of his life sentence in the case till the MDMA probe is completed.

On November 3, the top court had expressed unhappiness over the pendency of a plea by a convict seeking a pardon in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case for over two years with the Tamil Nadu Governor.

The CBI, in its 24-page affidavit, said, "It is for the His Excellency Governor of Tamil Nadu to take a call on the issue whether remission is to be granted or not and in so far as relief is concerned in the present matter CBI has no role."

"Present petitioner is not the subject matter of the further investigation carried out by MDMA. The further investigation conducted by MDMA is only limited to the mandate provided to it by the Jain Commission Report," it said, adding that a progress report by MDMA on further investigation and its status is submitted to the designated court in Chennai.

The Jain commission of inquiry in the assassination of the former prime minister has recommended a probe into "larger conspiracy" by MDMA and it required monitoring/tracking of absconding suspects and the role of Sri Lankan and Indian nationals in the case.

The probe agency further said that the top court had already on March 14, 2018, dismissed an application by Perarivalan for recall of the May 11, 1999 verdict of the top court, holding him guilty in the case.

It said, "The claim of the petitioner that he is innocent and did not have knowledge about the conspiracy to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi is neither acceptable nor maintainable."

The top court had earlier asked the counsel for petitioner, A G Perarivalan, whether the court can exercise its jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution to request the Governor to decide his plea of pardon filed under Article 161.

Article 161 empowers a Governor to pardon a convict in any criminal case.

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court extended by a week the parole of Perarivalan for undergoing medical check-up.

A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi also directed the Tamil Nadu government to provide police escort to Perarivalan during his visit to the hospital.

The parole, granted to the convict by the Madras High Court, was ending on Monday and now stands extended by one more week.

(With PTI inputs)

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