The Madras High Court on Friday granted a month-long parole to life convict Nalini Sriharan in the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. This is the first ordinary parole for Nalini in her 27 years long incarceration. She appeared in person before the court.
A division bench of Justice M M Sundaresh and Justice M Nirmal Kumar directed the Tamil Nadu government to finalise the process for her release within ten days. It also ordered Nalini not to give any interviews and not to meet any political person while out on parole. Read in Malayalam Tamil
Nalini was granted permission on June 25 to appear before the court in person to argue for her petition requesting an ordinary leave of six months to prepare for her daughters’ wedding. Her daughter, who was born in jail, has completed her higher studies and lives with her grandparents abroad. Nalini’s husband Murugan alias Sriharan is also lodged in the Vellore Central prison.
Nalini, convict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, get one month parole, which is the first ordinary parole in her 27 years long incarceration. She appeared in perosn before the Madras High Court. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/hJ7TFTTeOn
— Arun Janardhanan (@arunjei) July 5, 2019
She moved the court after her representation on February 25 and her mother’s similar representation on March 22 were not considered by the state authorities.
In February, Nalini had made a representation to prison authorities arguing that since her incarceration, she had not availed the one-month leave granted to every convict every two years. She moved the high court after her and her mother’s similar representation on March 22 were not considered by the state authorities.
In her writ petition, Nalini had claimed after she was awarded the death sentence, around 3,700 life convicts, who had served 10 years of imprisonment or less, were released by the Tamil Nadu government.
“My request to the state for premature release under the 1994 scheme of premature release of life convicts was cleared by the council of ministers and on September 9, 2018, the council advised the governor to release me and other six life convicts in the case. But it has been over six months and the decision of the state is still yet to be implemented,” she had submitted.
The Tamil Nadu government had commuted Nalini’s death sentence to life imprisonment in 2000. The AIADMK-led government then recommended Governor Banwarilal Purohit to release seven convicts – Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini – who were serving life terms. Chief Minister K Palaniswami had said that his government was committed for the release of the convicts, adding that he hoped that the Governor would act on the Cabinet recommendation for setting them free.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 by a LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur.
With PTI inputs