Chennai: For the first time since his arrest, Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A. G. Perarivalan has been granted parole by the Deputy Inspector General of Prisons, Vellore, on the orders of the Additional Chief Secretary to Tamil Nadu government.
The one-month (30 days) parole was solely granted on humanitarian grounds that Perarivalan's father is sick. Perarivalan's mother Arputhammal had been constantly lobbying for his parole order while several political parties, including the DMK and the PMK, backed his plea.
Speaking on the issue, DMK working president M. K. Stalin said: "Tamil Nadu government should to take steps to release him from jail permanently." Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss also welcomed the state government's decision. He urged the state government to release 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 June 11, 1991 and charged with providing a 9-volt battery for the explosive device to assassination conspirator Sivarasan. His death penalty finally commuted to life term imprisonment after Supreme Court verdict on February 1, 2014.
A life convict, Nalini moved the Madras High Court seeking parole for six months after the jail authorities rejected her parole. In her petition, Nalini said that as per law, she was entitled to avail a one-month parole once in two years. She also added that she hasn't taken any leave during her 26-year jail term. The Madras High Court had issued notices to the State government to examine her petition.
This case has always been a political issue with the ruling urging the Centre for the release of all the seven convicts and the DMK attacking the AIDMK for not taking concrete steps to release them.