CHENNAI: Wondering which legal provision will empower a High Court to grant bail to a convict, the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, to approach the Supreme Court to seek the relief.
The first bench of Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy raised the question when a writ petition from Nalini came for further hearing, today.
Originally, Nalini (now on parole granted by the Tamil Nadu government) had filed a petition praying the court to order her release even without the consent of the state Governor.
Now that the Supreme Court had granted bail to A G Perarivalan, another convict in the same case, her counsel pleaded the bench to apply the same yardstick and grant bail to Nalini.
Observing that the apex court is the supreme judicial body in the country and that the High Court cannot follow the same yardstick adopted by the former, the bench asked the counsel under what legal provision a High Court can grant bail to a convict.
The bench advised the counsel to approach the Supreme Court with the bail plea. As regards the main plea of release from the case, the bench posted the matter for March 24.
The Supreme Court had on March 9 granted bail to Perarivalan, serving life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, taking note of the submission that he has been in jail for over 30 years and his conduct inside the prison and during the period of parole has been satisfactory.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally.