New Delhi, Oct 17: The Supreme Court on Friday, Oct 17 issued notices to the state of Tamil Nadu on a petition filed by P R Ravichandran, convicted for the May 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, seeking his release on the grounds that he has already served 14 years in jail. In his plea to the bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, Ravichandran contended that the Tamil Nadu government was not taking a decision on his release despite the completion of his life sentence.
The counsel also contended that the petitioner's case for his release is not being considered simply because he has been convicted in a case involving the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi coupled with the fact that there are ongoing tensions between the LTTE and the Union government.
Ravichandran was sentenced to death by the trial court and the death sentence was confirmed by the Madras High Court.
The apex court, however, commuted the death sentece to life imprisonment in 1995.
Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a woman human suicide bomber beloging to LTTE on May 21, 1991, in Chennai.
The administration has the power to order the premature release of a lifer on completion of 14 years in jail taking into consideration relevant factors like the conduct of a prisoner in jail, his utility to society and his personal circumstances and also the possibility whether his or her release will be in public interest.
Under section 433 A CrPC, district administration can grant remission to a lifer.