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News18 » India
1-min read

Governor Has Power to Decide on Mercy Plea: Centre to Madras HC on Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Convicts

The Supreme Court in September 2018 directed the Tamil Nadu Governor to consider the mercy petition of Perarivalan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:February 7, 2020, 2:55 PM IST
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Governor Has Power to Decide on Mercy Plea: Centre to Madras HC on Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Convicts
File photo of Nalini, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Chennai: The Governor is free to exercise his discretionary powers as a constitutional authority on pleas to release the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, said Centre on Friday in its reply to the Madras High Court on a habeas corpus filed by Nalini.

“I respectfully submit that the Ministry of Home Affairs has already rejected the proposal of the Tamil Nadu government under Section 435 CrPC for release of the above named seven convicts in the case. The mercy petition is pending with the Honourable Governor of Tamil Nadu. The Governor is a constitutional functionary and he has the discretion to decide on the petition under the powers conferred upon him by the Constitution of India,” the Centre stated in its reply.

The Centre, however, maintained that it had already rejected a proposal by the state government to release all the seven convicts in the case and the only mercy petition pending before the Governor is that of AG Perarivalan and urged the High Court to dismiss the habeas corpus filed by Nalini.

“…It has been stated in the order that an application under Article 161 of the Constitution has been filed before the Governor by convict AG Perarivalan and the Court has observed that the authority concerned will be at liberty to decide the said application as deemed fit, which is pending before the Governor…” the Centre added.

The Supreme Court in September 2018 directed the Tamil Nadu Governor to consider the mercy petition of Perarivalan. The Tamil Nadu government held a cabinet meeting and submitted recommendations urging Governor Banwarilal Purohit to release all the seven convicts under Article 161.

The case is adjourned till February 12.

Madr

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