The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that the state Governor was awaiting the final report of the Multi- Disciplinary Monitoring Agency, probing the larger conspiracy behind the Rajiv Gandhi assassination,to decide on the cabinet recommendation to release all seven life convicts of the case.
"The Governors Secretary has informed the state that only for this reason that the governor has not taken any decision on the recommendation so far," Public Prosecutor A Natarajan said.
The MDMA was constituted pursuant to the Jain Commission's report to probe the larger conspiracy in the case involving persons of other countries like Sri Lanka. The proceeding of the agency is being monitored by the Supreme Court, the prosecutor said.
The submissions were made in view of the July 22 oral observation by a division bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and V M Velumani that the Governor cannot sit over the states recommendation for so long and that the court will be constrained to interfere. The state Cabinet had passed a resolution on September 9, 2018 for the premature release of all the convicts and recommended it to the Governor.
The court made the observations while hearing a plea moved by T Arputham mother of life convict A G Perarivalan. She sought a direction from the court to grant 90 days parole to her son, who needs immediate medical attention in view of various ailments. When the plea came up for hearing on Wednesday, the bench questioned the delay by the prison authorities in disposing of the representation for parole.
"Why we should not impose Rs 1 lakh as cost on the authorities for not disposing of the representation within a reasonable time?" the court asked. The bench said it might be the discretion of the authorities to grant parole or reject the request. But the decision should be made within a reasonable time.
"Any convict who are in incarceration will be already distressed. By not disposing of their representations on time, you are pushing them to approach the court spending money," the court said while adding that the cost of such litigations should be made to be borne by the government.
The bench then adjourned the plea to August 3 for the Public Prosecutor to file a counter. Besides Nalini Sriharan and her husband, the others convicted in the Rajiv case are A G Perarivalan, Santhan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Robert Pyas. All are serving life imprisonment for their role in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991 by an LTTE suicide-bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur.