Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday granted a 30-day parole to AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The parole was granted solely on humanitarian grounds to allow Perarivalan to meet his ailing and bedridden father. This is the first time he has been let out of jail since his arrest in 1991 as a 19-year-old.
His mother, Arputhammal, had been constantly lobbying for his parole. His plea was backed by many political parties, including the DMK and the PMK.
The parole was given on the orders of the additional chief secretary. Perarivalan will be escorted by a strong police presence throughout the period of leave, police said.
MK Stalin, working president of DMK welcomed the decision and said, “The Tamil Nadu government has to take action to release him from jail permanently.” PMK founder Dr Ramdoss also urged the state government to release all convicts permanently.
The Tamil Nadu prison authorities had earlier rejected his 30-day leave application on the grounds that he was sentenced under Central Acts and could not be granted parole under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, 1982.
Perarivalan was arrested on 11 June, 1991 and charged with providing a 9-volt battery for the explosive device to assassination conspirator Sivarasan. He was initially given the death penalty, but it was commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in 2014.
His parole comes after another life convict in the case, Nalini, moved the Madras High Court seeking parole for six months after the jail authorities rejected her application. In her petition, Nalini said that as per law, she was entitled to avail a one-month parole once every two years.
She said she had not taken any leave during her 26-year jail term. The Madras High Court had issued notices to the state government to examine her petition.