Amid reports of President Ram Nath Kovind rejecting Tamil Nadu’s request to release the seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the mother of one of them has decided to seek euthanasia for him. A G Perarivalan’s 71-year-old mother Arputham Ammal, who has been waging a legal battle for his release since 1991, said, “Our case was in Supreme Court, not before the President. My son was arrested when he was 19. He was behind bars for 27 years and never got reprieve until a brief parole last year. If our system wants him to die in prison, my son doesn’t want to live in this agony. I will write to the state and Centre seeking euthanasia for him.”
S Prabu Ramasubramanian, Perarivalan’s counsel, said that they heard about the President’s rejection from the media. “If this is true, the President seems to have exercised his powers under Article 72,” Ramasubramanian said. “If that is what happened, we have never applied for pardon before the President. The pending process was between the Centre and the state on a letter from the state to release all seven convicts. There was no file before the President. It is unusual that the President to intervene in a case on remission for life convicts.”
Ramasubramanian added: “If the President has taken such a report, it means the Centre had snatched powers of the state to approach the Governor seeking pardon under Article 161.”
Among the seven convicts, four were death convicts until they got a reprieve in 2014 with the SC commuting their death sentences to life. Among them, Perarivalan and Nalini are from Tamil Nadu, while Murugan and Santhan are Sri Lankan citizens. Of the three others, Robert Payas, Jayakumar are also Sri Lankan citizens while Ravichandran is from Madurai.