Rajiv Gandhi murderers including Nalini Sriharan freed by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court Friday ordered the release of all six remaining convicts serving life imprisonment in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, including Nalini Sriharan, R P Ravichandran, Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar. The bench, comprising Justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna, passed the order while taking into consideration the case of A G Perarivalan, another convict who was released in May.
Nalini, who is currently out on parole, had moved the apex court seeking early release from prison after the Madras High Court turned down her plea. Her petition was filed after the Supreme Court on May 18 ordered the release of Perarivalan, who had served more than 30 years in jail, by exercising its special powers under the Constitution’s Article 142. The Article enables the top court to pass orders to ensure “complete justice” in a case. Nalini cited Perarivalan’s case as she sought similar relief.
Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber at an election meeting in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.
Seven convicts were sentenced to life terms in the case. In 1999, the Supreme Court sentenced four of them to death and the other three to life imprisonment. In 2000, the death sentence of Nalini was commuted to life. In 2014, the Supreme Court commuted the other three death sentences, including that of Perarivalan.