Sanjay Dutt's release: Rajiv Gandhi case convict moves HC
File Photo

A convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case has petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking details related to the early release of actor Sanjay Dutt, who was convicted in the 1993 Bombay serial bomb blasts case.

A G Perarivalan (at the age of 19) was sentenced to life imprisonment for having provided two 9-volt batteries which were used in the bomb that killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

He is presently lodged at the Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai.

Perarivalan (48), who has spent 29 years in jail, filed a petition through advocate Nilesh Ukey in the Bombay High Court last week after he failed to get proper responses from the Maharashtra prison department to queries filed by him under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

Dutt was convicted in 2006-2007 by a special court under the Arms Act and sentenced to six years which was later upheld by the Supreme Court but the sentence was reduced to five years.

In May 2013, Dutt surrendered to serve his sentence in Yerwada prison.

During the period of his incarceration, Dutt was granted furlough and parole on various occasions, and on February 25, 2016 he was released from jail after being granted early remission of 256 days.

As per Perarivalan's petition, in March 2016 he filed an RTI application with Yerwada prison seeking information pertaining to Dutt's release on early remission.

In the RTI plea, he also wanted to know if the opinion of the Union and state governments was taken before deciding to grant Dutt early remission.

When Perarivalan did not receive a reply from the Yerwada prison, he approached the Appellate Authority which refused to provide the information saying it relates to a third person.

Perarivalan then filed an appeal before the State Information Commission, which passed an "insufficient and vague" order. Perarivalan then approached the high court.

"The State Information Commission ought to have directed Yerwada prison authorities to provide relevant, complete and sufficient information to the petitioner (Perarivalan) and ought to have appreciated the fact that obtaining information relating to the release of Sanjay Dutt would help in remission of the petitioner who has spent 29 years in jail," the petition said.

Perarivalan has now sought the high court to direct the Yerwada prison authorities to provide him the relevant information.

"If the information sought for is provided to the petitioner then it will facilitate the petitioner's own remission process," the petition said.

"The petitioner is not concerned about the extraordinariness of the considerations, in any, in the case of Sanjay Dutt by the jail department at each stage of release/remission/parole and furlough. The petitioner is also not interested in sending Dutt behind bars for the remission granted to him, if it is found to be granted in contrary to law," the petition said.

It added that the petitioner was only concerned with the documents and information related to the calculations of remission, furlough and parole so that he could use the said information to seek early release.

The petition is likely to be taken up for hearing next week.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal