CHENNAI: Nine months have passed since the State Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, adopted a resolution on September 9 last, recommending the release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. However, there has been no word yet from the office of Governor Banwarilal Purohit on the issue.
A week after the State Cabinet’s resolution, following rumours that the Governor had made a reference to the Union Home Ministry on the release of the seven convicts, the Raj Bhavan denied any such move.
The Raj Bhavan also promised,
“All efforts will be taken to process the papers scrupulously. Necessary consultation may be carried out, when required, in due course.” After this, on September 24 last, the Governor heard the representation of Arputham Ammal, mother of one of the convicts, AG Perarivalan, and promised to look into the matter.
On the other hand, the relatives of those killed when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated had represented to the Governor, urging him not to release the convicts.
However, an RTI reply from Yerwada Central Prison authorities, given to Perarivalan, that the Centre was not consulted on granting remission of jail sentence to actor Sanjay Dutt, who was convicted in the Mumbai serial blasts, has revived the issue of release of Rajiv case convicts.
K Sivakumar, one of the counsels for Perarivalan, said the Tamil Nadu government should demand a reply from the Governor on the issue of the convicts’ release.
Talking to Express, senior advocate Tamilmani said that the State government could either oppose the order of Joint Secretary, Union Home Secretary, issued on April 18, 2018, ruling out the release of the convicts, or amend the Criminal Procedure Code’s Section 433A.