Chennai: Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination accused AG Perarivalan one of the seven convicts was released by Supreme Court on Wednesday. After the Supreme Court’s release orders Perarivalan who is on the bail now met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin along with his mother Arputhammal in Chennai this evening.
Stalin in a tweeted a video of the meeting, a rough translation of the caption in Tamil reads, I met brother Perarivalan, who has returned after over 30 years in prison. I asked Brother Perarivalan and Arputhammal to set up a home life for them and live happily. The release of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers is one of the key common grounds between the DMK and its political rival AIADMK in view of the sensitivities on the subject in the Southern State.
DMK had promised in its last election manifesto to set free the seven convicts in the assassination case once it comes to power. Perarivalan has been behind bars for 31 years. Though the cabinet of former Chief Minister E Palaniswami had recommended the release of all seven convicts in 2018, consecutive Governors had not taken action.
Present Governor RN Ravi had told the Court that the matter has been referred to President Ram Nath Kovind, who was yet to take a call on it. Supreme Court had questioned the Governor’s action, observing that a Governor is bound by the cabinet decision to release all seven convicts in the case, granting them pardon under Section 161 of the Constitution. Supreme Court decided to release him invoking its special powers, today.
The State cabinet had taken its decision based on relevant considerations. In exercise of Article 142, it is appropriate to release the convict, said the Judges led by Justice L Nageswara Rao.