Stalin wins it Legally! The Court bashed the Governor, released the 6 others after Perarivalan!
Chennai: The Supreme Court on May 18 last year responded to a long-standing question about who has the power to release the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case by acquitting Perarivalan.
Power of the Governor in question
Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi remained silent on the resolution passed by the Cabinet in the Assembly, which is full of elected representatives. "His silence is against the law," the Tamil Nadu government appealed to the court.
The DMK has always argued that a governor holding a designated post should abide by the government elected by the people.
When DMK was the opposition or when it came to power as the ruling party, DMK was firm in its stand.
In history, we know that all the governors in charge have adopted almost the same approach to this issue. No Governor has supported the state government, but Governor Ravi's actions have a "Political Agenda".
To ensure that, Perarivalan's release was in favor of the DMK government's election promise. Now, in a further victory, Nalini and six others have been acquitted by the court.
Nalini and six others were officially released by the Supreme Court on August 11. However, Jairam Ramesh, one of the senior leaders of the Congress party opposed this.
Support from Markandey Katju
"In the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the Supreme Court acquitted the killers who were in jail for more than 30 years. However, the vendetta of some people has not stopped yet," said former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju.
We can understand that he put forward this statement only in support of the release of 6 people. Advocate Prabhu, appearing in the Supreme Court in the case, said, "On 18.5.2022, a bench comprising Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice Gavai acquitted Nalini and six others on the basis of which Perarivalan was acquitted."
While arguing in the court, they asked, 'Do the elements of Perarivalan's case apply to them as well?' We explained it. "Are there any other differences in the case?" they asked The Tamil Nadu government's counsel Rakesh Dwivedi. Prabhu continued,
He said, 'All the rules of Perarivalan apply to them as well. Earlier, the court had taken a decision on the governor's delay. So, these six people can be released," he said. The judges accepted it.
The explanation given by the Tamil Nadu government's counsel in the case was the most important factor in the acquittal. The judges also said that as per the law, we have already taken a decision in the Perarivalan case. At the time of Perarivalan's release, the court had said that it was wrong for the Governor not to take any decision.
No Support from Central Government
An explanation was sent to the counsel on behalf of the central government. But no one appeared on their behalf. Therefore, the public prosecutor said, "The Central government has no role to play in the case. Hence, it can be released without seeking an explanation from the central government." It was accepted by the court.
The court granted the acquittal considering the power of the state government's cabinet. With this acquittal, the court confirmed that 'no one can control that power'.
"The Government of Tamil Nadu is constantly making it clear that the Governor's action is not right. The verdict in this case is proof of that. It is hard to know that there has been a delay of eight years even after the state government decided to release them. The governor has been a factor in that," says Prabhu.
On the release of the six convicts, Chief Minister M K Stalin said, "The verdict on the release of the six convicts is a historic tribute to the principle of democracy."
Explanation put forward by Stalin
The DMK has fought through the Supreme Court to find a legal solution to the governor's action against the people's power. It can be safely hoped that many more cases will come to historical judgment.
Advocate Prabhu had made one thing very clear. This means that the counsel, who was initially representing the Central government on the release of the six, did not lodge any protest at the time of the final verdict. Therefore, the Judges of the Supreme Court accepted the argument made by the Counsel for the Tamil Nadu Government that he could be released without the need for an explanation from the Central Government.
The Central government, which remained silent at that time, filed a review petition now in the Supreme Court challenging the acquittal of the seven convicts. The governor remained silent and tried to paralysed the situation without making a decision. Now it has become clear that the Central government wants to drag the case further by filing a review petition.
It is in this context that Stalin's statement assumes great significance. "Based on the verdict in Perarivalan's case, the Supreme Court has released Nalini, Ravichandran, Robert Paes, Santhan, Murugan and Jayakumar.
What happened during the M Karunanidhi regime?
It was the DMK government led by former chief minister M Karunanidhi who first commuted Nalini's death sentence to life imprisonment in 2000.
Even when DMK were in the opposition, they pressured the then Governor of Tamil Nadu. Even after coming to power, as chief minister, DMK insisted on their release to the President and the Prime Minister.
The governor had put on hold the cabinet decision of the state government. DMK was constantly pressurizing to give permission for the same. Even in the hearing of the case filed by Perarivalan in the Supreme Court, we put forward arguments focusing on the provisions of the law which uphold the right of the state government.
The Supreme Court had earlier ordered the immediate release of Perarivalan to uphold the rights of the state cabinet.
This is the second victory for those who have languished in jail for more than 30 years on humanitarian grounds. This was a victory for the powerful legal battles fought soon after assuming office.
I would like to say that this is a victory for all those who have worked tirelessly for humanity and human rights. This judgment of the Supreme Court is also proof that governors in nominated positions should not put on hold the decisions and decisions of the government elected by the people. This judgement has been welcomed as a historic tribute to the principle of democracy," he said.
The opposition and Alliance together favored the release!
PMK founder Ramadoss's statement also points out that Governor R N Ravi was an obstacle to the functioning of the DMK government. "If the governor had accepted the cabinet's decision, they would have been released four years ago," he says.
CPI(M) state secretary K Balakrishnan also said the release of the six was late because of the delay by the Governor and the Central government. Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani knows the nuances of the law in this case. He too has put forward the view that the verdict is proof that the governor's obstruction was a legal error.
Pazha Nedumaran, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan have also supported the release of the six.
At the same time, the victims of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and the Congress party continue to say that it was not right to release the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
"No one has said that all the six accused, including Nalini, are not guilty. On the contrary, they demanded the release of the convicts based on the rights granted by law. Realizing this, the court acquitted them.
Because of this, the Central government, which had initially indirectly obstructed the Governor, has now taken up the weapon of a review petition. The DMK government is going to face this legally as well. At the end of the case, the final answer to the legal battle will be found.