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AG Perarivalan release highlights: Congress holds state-wide protests against Perarivalan’s release

Rajiv Gandhi assassination case highlights: Earlier the congress had  expressed it's disappointment over the Supreme Court’s verdict  saying the BJP had created the circumstances for the order.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
Updated: May 19, 2022 10:35:17 pm
Congress workers led by CLP leader K Selvaperunthagai stage a protest after the release of A.G. Perarivalan at Rajiv Gandhi Memorial. (PTI)

Perarivalan release highlights:  Congress party workers, covering their mouth using white clothes,  staged state-wide protests against the release of A.G. Perarivalan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, today. While,  CLP leader K Selvaperunthagai led the protest at Rajiv Gandhi Memorial in Sriperumbudur in Kanchipuram, TNCC president K S Alagiri led the protest at Chidambaram in Cuddalore District. Earlier the congress had  expressed it’s disappointment over the Supreme Court’s verdict  saying the BJP had created the circumstances for the order. “A terrorist is a terrorist and should be treated as one. Today, we are deeply pained and disappointed at the decision of the Supreme Court ordering the release of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassin,” said Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala.

Meanwhile, DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, who met Perarivalan and his family, on Wednesday, welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict ordering the release of A G Perarivalan, who has served over 30 years in jail in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, and said “The SC order also clarified that the Governor cannot interfere in the powers of an elected state government.” The opposition AIADMK also welcomed the order, recalling steps taken by the late J Jayalalithaa for Perarivalan’s release.

A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, 50, was only 19 when he was arrested on June 11, 1991. He was accused of having bought two 9-volt ‘Golden Power’ battery cells for Sivarasan, the LTTE man who masterminded the conspiracy to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi. The batteries were used in the bomb that killed the former Prime Minister on May 21 that year. Perarivalan was “set at liberty forthwith” on Wednesday by the Supreme Court, which used its extraordinary powers “for doing complete justice” under Article 142 of the Constitution. Perarivalan’s release marks the culmination of the legal battle he waged from his cells in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore and Puzhal Central prisons over three decades.

Live Blog
22:15 (IST)19 May 2022
Watch: Everything About AG Perarivalan, Convict In Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case

The Supreme Court Wednesday ordered the release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict A G Perarivalan, exercising its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. Here is a video about Perarivalan, who was 19-years-old at the time of Gandhi’s killing in 1991. 

20:32 (IST)19 May 2022
Watch: Congress leader KS Alagiri leads protest against Perarivalan's release in Cuddalore

TNCC president K S Alagiri led the protest at Chidambaram in Cuddalore District against Perarivalan's release. 



18:44 (IST)19 May 2022
Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case: A G Perarivalan should have been released much earlier, says Ex-SC judge

A G Perarivalan, one of the conspirators in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, ought to have been released much earlier, former Supreme Court judge Justice K T Thomas said on Thursday.

Invoking its extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court had on Wednesday ordered the release of Perarivalan, who has served over 30 years in jail in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, and said the Tamil Nadu Governor ought not to have sent the "binding" advice made by the State Cabinet for his release to the President.

Justice Thomas, who headed the apex court bench which in 1999 upheld the death sentence of Perarivalan and three others, told PTI that the convicted accused ought to have been granted remission after they served 14 years in jail.

"Now it is 30 years. He (Perarivalan) should have been released much earlier. After he served 14 years," the former apex court judge said, adding that the relief now granted to him should also apply to the other convicts in the case. "Why should there be a discrimination between them," he said.

Justice Thomas said that he had written a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in 2017 requesting her to write a letter to the President for remitting the sentence of Perarivalan and others. (PTI)

18:08 (IST)19 May 2022
Perarivalan meets Edappadi K Palaniswami

A G Perarivalan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, met Tamil Nadu opposition leader and former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami following his release. 

17:20 (IST)19 May 2022
In Perarivalan’s case, the constitutional battle between governor and government

The Supreme Court’s action in exercising its inherent power under Article 142 of the Constitution and ordering the release of A G Perarivalan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has resulted in mixed reactions. A Congress spokesperson in Tamil Nadu called the verdict a victory for terrorism and money power. His reaction was strengthened by the state Congress Committee calling for a peaceful protest for one hour, with protesters standing with their mouths gagged.

Notwithstanding these small ripples, the Supreme Court’s verdict was broadly welcomed as it put an end to travails that lasted more than two decades. It also brought an end to the battle between the Raj Bhavan and Secretariat. Former Madras High Court judge K Chandru writes.

16:24 (IST)19 May 2022
‘His (Perarivalan) suffering lasted 31 years…ours is forever’: Families of Rajiv Gandhi assassination victims recall struggle

As the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of A G Perarivalan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, families of the victims who died with the former Prime Minister in a suicide bomb attack at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991, said the verdict was as an “injustice” to them.

Apart from Rajiv Gandhi, 15 others were killed in the bomb attack, including police personnel and Congress party workers. The Indianexpress.com traced some of their families, whose lives changed forever that day, and spoke to them post the Supreme Court verdict. Read full report here

15:44 (IST)19 May 2022
Perarivalan Release: TN Congress holds protest against SC verdict at Rajiv Gandhi Memorial

Congress workers led by CLP leader K Selvaperunthagai stage a protest after the release of A.G. Perarivalan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, at Rajiv Gandhi Memorial in Sriperumbudur, on Thursday. 

(PTI Photos)

15:24 (IST)19 May 2022
TN should become a major investment destination in south Asia: CM

Tamil Nadu should become a major investment destination in the whole of South Asia and Coimbatore has to play an important role to help achieve the targets set by the state government, Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Thursday.

During an interaction with captains of industry from Coimbatore, Erode and Tirupur districts, Stalin said after the DMK came to power, investors meets were held, resulting in the signing of 131 agreements worth Rs 69,000 crore.

Tamil Nadu should top the list in industrial development in India, he said and added that Coimbatore should play an important role in helping achieve the target of making Tamil Nadu a one trillion dollar economy. (PTI)

13:10 (IST)19 May 2022
After SC orders A G Perarivalan’s release, former judge K T Thomas says he should live ‘happily hereafter’

Justice K T Thomas (retd), who headed the Supreme Court bench that sentenced A G Perarivalan to death in 1999, said Wednesday he wants to meet the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict and wished him to lead a normal life. Justice Thomas’s comments came soon after the top court ordered the release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Perarivalan, exercising its powers under the Constitution’s Article 142, which enables the court to pass orders to do complete justice in a case.

“I wish to see him,” said Justice Thomas after hearing the news of Perarivalan’s release in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. “Perarivalan, if you find time, please visit me…” Thomas said while speaking to The Indian Express from his residence at Kottayam, Kerala. “After the long incarceration and the release at the age of 50, what should I tell him? He should get married soon… He should live happily… with his dear ones. And I give complete credit to his mother (Arputham Ammal). She deserves the entire credit,” he said. Read more

12:12 (IST)19 May 2022
Tamil Nadu Congress holds protest against SC verdict in Chennai

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) Thursday held a protest in Chennai against the Supreme Court verdict ordering the release of A G Perarivalan, who has been in jail for 31 years. TNCC President KS Alagiri had earlier said that they don't want to criticize SC's decision but strongly conveyed that the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case were "murderers and not innocent."

11:51 (IST)19 May 2022
AG Perarivalan after Supreme Court verdict: ‘I have just come out… I have to breathe’

Hours after the Supreme Court ordered his releaseA G Perarivalan, convicted in 1998 for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, said his victory was a result of his mother’s struggle over the last three decades. Speaking to the media outside his house in Jolarpettai, Tamil Nadu, Perarivalan said the “honesty in (the) case” was what gave him and his mother, Arputhammal, the strength to fight for so long.

“She has faced lots of humiliations, insult, and pain over these years. Despite that, she has fought for justice for 31 years. The honesty in (this) case was what gave both of us the strength to fight this battle. The verdict is a victory for her struggle,” Perarivalan said.  Asked what he would do next, Perarivalan said, “I have just come out. It has been 31 years of legal battle. I have to breathe. Give me some time.” Read more

11:12 (IST)19 May 2022
Explained: The content and scope of Article 142, invoked by Supreme Court to release Perarivalan

In ordering the release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A G Perarivalan on Wednesday (May 18), the Supreme Court Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai invoked the extraordinary power conferred on the court under Article 142 of the Constitution. “State cabinet had taken its decision based on relevant considerations. In exercise of Article 142, it is appropriate to release the convict,” the court said.

What is Article 142 of the Indian Constitution?

Subsection 1 of Article 142 (“Enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court and orders as to discovery, etc.”) says “the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe." We explain here

10:52 (IST)19 May 2022
Perarivalan released: Congress flays verdict, DMK welcomes it

The Congress Wednesday expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s verdict for the release of A G Perarivalan. “A terrorist is a terrorist and should be treated as one,” said communication department head Randeep Surjewala. The party’s reaction is interesting as the members of the Gandhi family have made statements in the past suggesting they have forgiven the killers of Rajiv. The Congress said Sonia and her children Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hold no ill-will against the killers of Rajiv. The party said it respects their sentiments but legal proceedings are different. Read more

10:30 (IST)19 May 2022
A G Perarivalan writes: My hope was my mother… the life-saving plank in my arduous journey through a hurricane infested ocean

When the Supreme Court ordered my release around 10.40 am, I was waiting at a public hall near my uncle’s house with a friend. Of course, I was waiting for the report from Delhi. And when the news finally came, I went home. My mother (Arputammal) who fought for me all these years was crying. My elder sister was too. In fact, I have never seen her cry so much. I had to struggle to calm her. My younger sister who reached home a little late, and my father, a retired Tamil teacher, were visibly happy. My mother didn’t speak to me today, she just kept crying. I don’t remember if I tried to comfort her. But yes, I have to sit with Amma and talk to her.

It has been a long legal battle for me. But I wasn’t tired as I knew how much my mother was fighting for me. I spent around 11 years inside a 6×9 feet cell in solitary confinement. It was in those days I started becoming aware of my senses — actually my diminishing senses. A room in which I had nothing but empty walls to look at. I told someone earlier how I used to obsessively count the bricks on the wall, take measures of the door and bolts and imagine the smells I craved. A G Perarivalan writes

10:10 (IST)19 May 2022
‘You respected my fight’: AG Perarivalan’s mother’s 31-year wait is over

“The Supreme Court has finally ordered my son’s release. So I am standing here to thank everyone. All of you know our fight for the past 31 years. I don’t have to tell you about him. You all respected my fight.” Surrounded by cameras, the exhausted 75-year-old hung on to her son’s arms at Jolarpettai in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupattur. Arputham Ammal’s long and gruelling fight for her son A G Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was finally over.

Surrounded by cameras, the exhausted 75-year-old hung on to her son’s arms at Jolarpettai in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupattur. Arputham Ammal’s long and gruelling fight for her son A G Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was finally over. Arun Janardhanan writes

09:35 (IST)19 May 2022
Terrorist is a terrorist: Cong targets BJP over Perarivalan release

The Congress Wednesday expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s verdict for the release of A G Perarivalan, who has served over 30 years in jail in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, saying the BJP had created the circumstances for the order. “A terrorist is a terrorist and should be treated as one. Today, we are deeply pained and disappointed at the decision of the Supreme Court ordering the release of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassin,” said Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala. 

“We are deeply saddened by the decision of the Supreme Court. If those guilty of terrorism, an assassination of a Prime Minister are going to be released like this, then who will uphold the majesty and the integrity of law in this country?” Surjewala told reporters. The party’s reaction is interesting as the members of the Gandhi family have made statements in the past suggesting they have forgiven the killers of Rajiv.

09:23 (IST)19 May 2022
CM MK Stalin meets Perarivalan, mother Arputhammal; hails verdict as ‘historic’

DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, who met Perarivalan and his family, on Wednesday, welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict ordering the release of A G Perarivalan, who has served over 30 years in jail in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, and said “The SC order also clarified that the Governor cannot interfere in the powers of an elected state government.”  

“The order will be remembered in history not just for an individual named Perarivalan, but for establishing the federal philosophy and autonomy of the state,” Stalin said. He added that Supreme Court judges have clearly mentioned while hearing Perarivalan’s release petition that the governor has no authority to intervene in the decision of the state government.

09:03 (IST)19 May 2022
Over 31 years of jail, seven long years of wait, the many turns in Perarivalan’s case

From when he first filed his mercy petition to when the Supreme Court ordered his release, the case of Rajiv Gandhi murder convict A G Perarivalan was lobbed from the state to the Centre, Governor House to Rashtrapati Bhavan, for seven years. The fortunes of Perarivalan – held at the age of 19 – swung as per the parties in power, even as multiple accounts since the May 21, 1991, assassination and the long probe kept shedding new light on the case.

While the key conspirators and assassins could not be caught alive, 26 accused were sentenced to death in 1998 by a TADA court. In 1999, the Supreme Court acquitted 19. Over the years that followed, the death sentence of four others was commuted to life – A G Perarivalan, Nalini, her husband and Sri Lankan national Murugan, and Santhan. Arun Janardhanan writes

08:50 (IST)19 May 2022
ICYMI: Supreme Court orders release of A G Perarivalan, convict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of A G Perarivalan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, exercising its special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. The order came 24 years after Perarivalan was sentenced to death in the case by a lower court, and two months after he was granted bail by the apex court. Perarivalan was arrested on June 11, 1991, at the age of 19, weeks after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bomb attack at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21. Read more

08:38 (IST)19 May 2022
Welcome to today's blog

Hello and welcome to today's live blog. We bring to you the latest updates and reactions after the Supreme Court's verdict on Wednesday ordering the release of A G Perarivalan, who has served over 30 years in jail in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Stay tuned!

AG Perarivalan, AG Perarivalan released, Rajiv Gandhi assassination case AG Perarivalan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, plays a musical instrument to celebrate after Supreme Court released him using special powers, at his house in Jolarpet, Tirupattur district, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Justice K T Thomas (retd), who headed the Supreme Court bench that sentenced A G Perarivalan to death in 1999, said Wednesday he wants to meet the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict and wished him to lead a normal life. Justice Thomas’s comments came soon after the top court ordered the release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Perarivalan, exercising its powers under the Constitution’s Article 142, which enables the court to pass orders to do complete justice in a case.

“I wish to see him,” said Justice Thomas after hearing the news of Perarivalan’s release in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. “Perarivalan, if you find time, please visit me…” Thomas said while speaking to The Indian Express from his residence at Kottayam, Kerala. “After the long incarceration and the release at the age of 50, what should I tell him? He should get married soon… He should live happily… with his dear ones. And I give complete credit to his mother (Arputham Ammal). She deserves the entire credit,” he said.

READ | After SC orders A G Perarivalan’s release, former judge K T Thomas says he should live ‘happily hereafter’

Following the development, most political leaders in Perarivalan’s home state Tamil Nadu welcomed the apex court’s decision. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin congratulated AG Perarivalan on his release. Addressing media persons, Stalin said the Supreme Court order was a historic one. He noted that the DMK had promised to make efforts for the release of Rajiv Gandhi case convicts in its manifesto.

“The order will be remembered in history not just for an individual named Perarivalan, but for establishing the federal philosophy and autonomy of the state,” Stalin said. He added that Supreme Court judges have clearly mentioned while hearing Perarivalan’s release petition that the governor has no authority to intervene in the decision of the state government.

READ | Perarivalan release: Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin terms Supreme Court order ‘historic’, ally Congress differs

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