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Tamil Nadu government recommends releasing 7 convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

Rajiv Gandhi, 46, was killed on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally.

Updated: Sep 09, 2018 23:58:17

By M Manikandan

Rajiv Gandhi was India’s Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989. (HT archive)

The Tamil Nadu cabinet recommended the release of all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to the governor under article 161 of the Constitution.

The development came on Sunday after the Supreme Court last week directed Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit to take a decision on a petition filed by AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts. A resolution was passed at the cabinet meeting chaired by AIADMK chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in the state secretariat, fisheries minister D Jayakumar said.

A copy of the resolution will be sent to the governor immediately.

“The cabinet urged governor Purohit to use his powers under article 161 of the constitution to release Murugan, Santhan, AG Perarivalan, Nalini, Rober Pious, Ravichandran and Jayakumar,” the minister told reporters on the secretariat premises.



Article 161 deals with the judicial powers of the governor and gives him the power to pardon a person who has been proved guilty in court.

“The governor is bound to go by the decision taken in the cabinet meeting. It is mandatory to stick with the cabinet’s decision,” Jayakumar said.

In 2014, former chief minister J Jayalalithaa had chaired a cabinet meeting, after which she urged the Centre to release the seven convicts who have been in prison for over 27 years. But the Centre had then opposed it.

“Since article 161 deals with the state’s power, we believe that the governor will endorse the cabinet decision,” Jayakumar said. Reacting to the TN government’s decision, Arputham Ammal, mother of AG Perarivalan, met the chief minister at his residence and thanked him.

“I have been waiting for 27 years for the release of my son. Even our former CM Jayalalithaa was interested to release my son. I believe that the current government has taken proper steps to release my son... I request the governor to take appropriate steps...,” Arputham Ammal told Hindustan Times.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 18:18:40

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