Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi with wife Sonia Gandhi
The Tamil Nadu Cabinet has decided to recommend to the State Governor Banwarilal Purohit the release of all seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The convicts include Murugan, Santhan, A G Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini Sriharan.
Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur near Chennai by an LTTE woman suicide bomber, Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed. The others, allegedly involved in the assassination, are behind bars.
A resolution to this effect was adopted at a meeting of the State Cabinet in Chennai.
The move comes days after the Supreme Court asked the Tamil Nadu Governor to consider the mercy petition of Perarivalan seeking remission or pardon under Article 161 of the Constitution and disposed of the Centre’s petition opposing Tamil Nadu government’s earlier proposal for the release of the convicts.
Although the apex court had asked the Governor to consider Perarivalan's plea, the government has decided to recommend setting free all others, as they had also petitioned seeking premature release.
The Cabinet resolution will be sent to the Governor “immediately,” said State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar.