India Frees Rajiv Gandhi Killer
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – The Supreme Court on May 18 ordered the release of A.G. Perarivalan, sentenced to life, in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Perarivalan is currently on bail. His death sentence was commuted to life sentence and terrorism charges were withdrawn.
The top court noted that Perarivalan was 19 years of age at the time of his arrest and has been incarcerated for 32 years, out of which he has spent 16 years on the death row and 29 years in solitary confinement and there has been no complaint relating to his conduct in jail.
“On the two occasions that the appellant had been released on parole, there had been no complaint regarding his conduct or breach of any condition of release,” it noted.
During the hearing, the apex court had questioned the Tamil Nadu Governor, for not deciding on the state government’s recommendation to release all convicts in the case, which was made to the Governor way back in September 2018. It took strong objection to the Governor sitting on Cabinet’s recommendation to release Perarivalan for over three years, and then forwarding it to the President.
The bench said it was fully conscious of the immunity of the Governor under the Constitution with respect to the exercise of powers and duties of his office, however non-exercise of the power is not immune from judicial review.