Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that Governor of Tamil Nadu, Banwarilal Purohit will decide in three to four days on whether to release Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict, AG Perarivalan.
Mehta told a Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer and Indu Malhotra that the Governor will take a call within three to four days on the State government’s recommendation to release Perarivalan.
In the light of this submission, the Court adjourned the case relating to remission of Perarivalan’s sentence.
Perarivalan had applied to the Governor for pardon on December 30, 2015.
Almost three years later, in September 2018, the Supreme Court asked the Governor to decide the pardon plea as he “deemed fit”. Three days after that, on September 9, 2018, the Tamil Nadu Cabinet recommended to the Governor to remit Perarivalan’s sentence and release him forthwith, but the Governor is yet take a call on the same.
The Supreme Court had, on November 3, 2020 said the investigation of Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) into the “larger conspiracy” behind Rajiv Gandhi assassination need not deter the Tamil Nadu Governor from deciding the plea for pardon of convicts like AG Perarivalan, who have been serving their sentence in jail for over two decades.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also told the Supreme Court in October 2020 that the Governor of Tamil Nadu is the competent authority to take call on the request for remission.
In an affidavit filed on November 20, the central investigating agency maintained that the issue of remission of sentence is solely between the office of the Governor Banwarilal Purohit and the convict. It is for the Governor to decide whether or not to release Perarivalan, who is serving a life sentence, it added.
The reply from the agency came after Perarivalan’s mother applied to the Tamil Nadu Governor for his release.
The CBI had also told the Supreme Court that Perarivalan is not needed for further investigation conducted by its Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) into the “larger conspiracy” behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.