Rajiv assassination case: SC dismisses plea of convict AG Perarivalan to recall 1999 order
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea of convict AG Perarivalan to recall its judgment convicting him in 1998 in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
AG Perarivalan, who has spent 26 years in jail, was convicted of supplying two nine-volt batteries for the belt-bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and sentenced to life in jail. In his application, Perarivalan has said that he is languishing in jail for the past 26 years.
In its May 1999 order, the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence of four convicts-- Perarivalan, Murugan, Santham and Nalini in the assassination case.
However, in April 2000, the Tamil Nadu governor commuted the death sentence of Nalini on the basis of the state government's recommendation and an appeal by former Congress president and Rajiv Gandhi's widow Sonia Gandhi.
Later on February 18, 2014, the top court had commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment, along with that of two other prisoners - Santhan and Murugan - on grounds of a delay of 11 years in deciding their mercy pleas by the Centre.
In 2017, Perarivalan had asked for a reprieve saying that the CBI dropped the part in his confession where he said he had "absolutely no idea" what the batteries were for.
The CBI told SC that the conspiracy behind the bomb that killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi could not be investigated as "Sri Lankan authorities were not cooperating".
Perarivalan was 19 when he was arrested weeks after the assassination. He spent 14 years in solitary confinement after being sentenced to death. That was changed to life term by the Supreme Court in 2014.
A multi-agency probe was set up in 1998 on the recommendation of the Jain Commission which investigated the conspiracy.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber of the separatist Lankan Tamil outfit LTTE, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally.
Dhanu greeted him at a rally in Sriperumbudur town with a bomb strapped to her chest. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.
OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)