SC rejects recall plea of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict AG Perarivalan
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea of one of the convicts seeking a recall of its May 1999 judgement in connection with the assassination case of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
On January 24, the apex court issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the convict AG Perarivalan had filed the plea.
The top court had asked the CBI to respond to the plea within three weeks. The matter was listed for hearing on February 21.
A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi asked the probe agency to file its response to the application filed by convict A G Perarivalan within three weeks and posted the matter for hearing on February 21.
In its May 1999 order, the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence of four convicts – Perarivalan, Murugan, Santham and Nalini in the assassination case.
In April 2000, however, the Tamil Nadu governor commuted the death sentence of Nalini on the basis of state government’s recommendation and an appeal by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Later the top court had on February 18, 2014 commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment, along with two other condemned prisoners – Santhan and Murugan – on grounds of a delay of 11 years in deciding their mercy pleas by the Centre.
During the hearing on January 24, advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, representing Perarivalan told the court that he had filed an application seeking a recall of the 1999 judgement by the apex court and the CBI should respond to it.
In his application, Perarivalan had said that he was languishing in jail for the past 26 years.
The SC had asked the Centre to take a decision within three months on a 2016 letter by Tamil Nadu government seeking its concurrence on releasing seven convicts in the assassination case.
The letter written on March 2, 2016, had said that while the state government has already decided to release the seven convicts, it is necessary to seek the Centre’s concurrence as per an apex court order of 2015.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally. 14 others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.