Days after Supreme Court sought the Centre’s and CBI’s response on a plea seeking probe into the alleged “larger conspiracy” behind former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, a prime witness in the case has written to the Prime Minister to intervene and ensure a “free and fair” investigation. In the letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ramesh Dalal has said he was a key witness of Jain Commission of Inquiry, which was constituted to look into the conspiracy aspect of the assassination, and had raised the issue of a larger probe into the conspiracy in an earlier letter to CBI.
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“In view of the contents of my aforementioned letter (of April 19, 2016), a supplementary charge sheet on conspiracy angle is awaited from CBI. Since the Supreme Court has sought a reply from CBI in this matter, your personal intervention is requested to ensure free and fair probe for a logical end to the case,” Dalal said in the letter to Modi.
In his April 19 letter to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and then CBI Director Anil Sinha, he had highlighted certain shortcomings in the probe in the case and had sought further investigation on these aspects.
On December 14, the apex court had sought response of the Centre and CBI on the plea which has alleged that CBI did not probe the conspiracy behind the killing of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 despite an order from a TADA court in Chennai. The plea was filed by A G Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the assassination case, who had contended that neither CBI’s Special Investigation Team, nor the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), had proceeded with the probe in a proper perspective to bring the accused to book as several top people were involved in the case.
The MDMA, comprising officers of CBI, R&AW, Intelligence Bureau and other central intelligence agencies, was set up through a government order on December 2, 1998 as a unit of the CBI in New Delhi with a branch in Chennai. It was created following recommendations of the Jain Commission which had sought a further probe into several aspects of the conspiracy in India and several other countries.
The apex court had on February 18, 2014 commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment along with two other condemned prisoners, Santhan and Murugan, because of the 11 year delay in deciding their mercy pleas by the Centre. Perarivalan had earlier sought the case dairies pertaining to CBI and MDMA, which was probing the matter.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.