The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the additional public prosecutor to get instructions from the authorities on a plea from the mother of Nalini Sriharan, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, to permit her daughter and husband to talk to his mother and sister through WhatsApp for 10 minutes daily.
The court, while issuing the directive, orally observed that when authorities were already allowing inmates in jail to talk to their relatives what is the problem in allowing Murugan and Nalini to talk to his mother. The court then posted the matter to Thursday.
A Division Bench of Justice MM Sundresh and Justice PT Asha was hearing a habeas corpus petition (HCP) from S Padma, Nalini's mother.
The petitioner, while referring to the death of the father of Murugan in Sri Lanka on April 27 2020, said his request to watch the last rites of his father over WhatsApp video was not granted by the Tamil Nadu government.
She further submitted that Nalini spoke to her over phone on April 28 and requested her to file an application to the prison authorities and the Home Department for permission to talk with Murugan's mother and his sister, who is in London, through WhatsApp for 10 minutes daily.
As per her request, the petitioner said she filed an application to the prison authorities on May 4, but till date no decision was taken by the authorities, "which is violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution." Hence, the petitioner sought a direction to the authorities to grant permission.
Besides Nalini, her husband Murugan, AG Perarivalan, Santhan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Robert Pyas 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.
They were initially sentenced to death, but later it was commuted to life imprisonment.