Nalini Knocks on SC's Door to Pave Way for Release
NEW DELHI: One of the convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Nalini Sriharan, who has been undergoing life imprisonment, has approached the Supreme Court seeking to declare as null and void a provision in law mandating the Tamil Nadu government to consult the Centre before releasing the seven life convicts.
Nalini challenged the Section 435(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code which mandates that the State government must consult the Centre before pre-mature release of a convict if the case was investigated by the CBI.
Nalini has been in jail for the last 23 years. She was sentenced to death by the trial court in the case in January, 1998. Her death sentence was commuted to life term by the Tamil Nadu governor in April 2000.
“Though 2,200 life convicts who had put in less than 10 years of imprisonment were prematurely released by the Tamil Nadu Government during the last about 15 years, she was excluded from consideration
for premature release only on the ground that her offence was investigated by the CBI, that is, her case was covered by Section 435(1)(a) CrPC. The said section is unconstitutional,” the petition reads.
A day after the apex court had commuted the death sentences of convicts Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, the Jayalalithaa government on February 19 had proposed to remit the sentences of all lifers, including the three, and release them.
The decision to release the convicts was challenged by the Centre before the Supreme Court which had stayed the decision.