The Supreme Court has ordered the release of convict AG Perarivalan after 31 years in prison for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court approved the release of AG Perarivalan, one of the life-sentenced prisoners in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. AG Perarivalan has been behind bars for the last 31 years.
Perarivalan was granted relief by a bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao, which used its exceptional jurisdiction under Article 142 to do so. “The state cabinet made its choice after considering all relevant factors.” “It is reasonable to discharge the offender under Article 142,” stated the bench.
AG Perarivalan, 19, was condemned to death by the TADA court in 1998 after being accused of purchasing two 9-volt batteries for Sivarasan, the LTTE member who masterminded the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
In May 1999, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of four prisoners: Perarivalan, Murugan, Santham, and Nalini. The Supreme Court commuted Perarivalan’s death sentence to life imprisonment, as well as the sentences of two other inmates—Santhan and Murugan—on February 18, 2014, noting the Centre’s 11-year delay in deciding their mercy pleas.
Article 142 deals with the execution of Supreme Court rulings and orders, as well as discovery and other orders. On March 9, the Supreme Court granted Perarivalan bail, citing his lengthy detention and lack of prior complaints while on parole.
The highest court was considering Perarivalan’s appeal for a stay of execution in the case until the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency investigation was concluded. Gandhi was slain during an election rally in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on the night of May 21, 1991, by a female suicide bomber known as Dhanu.