One of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, RP Ravichandran, approached the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday for his release after serving for more than 29 years of jail term. Ravichandran, 51, who is currently lodged at the Madurai Central Jail, stated in his petition that he was under tremendous mental pressure and has become physically weak, and the court should consider his case as 1,600 convicts serving life imprisonment were released in the last few years for their “good conduct”.
“The state assembly has already passed a resolution and sent it to the governor and President for their consent. We are waiting to hear from them,” argued the government counsel and requested the court to dismiss the petition. The government counsel also cited the earlier instance of the high court’s divisional bench, which dismissed the plea of Nalini on the same grounds few weeks ago.
The HC observed that they couldn’t make the decision on his release and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.
“The petition has not been dismissed yet hence we are still optimistic. Political parties should also intervene and speak as one voice for the release of convicts,” said K Samidurai, advocate who appeared for Ravichandran.
In September 2018, the previous government in Tamil Nadu had passed a cabinet resolution and recommended to the governor to release the seven Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts on humanitarian grounds by exercising Article 161, a constitutional power given to the governors and President to grant pardon and remit the convicts. However, no decision has been made by the governor’s office on this matter yet.