New Delhi: In a major development, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the Tamil Nadu Governor will decide, in three-four days, on the state government’s recommendation to release A.G. Perarivalan, one of the convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The development is significant as the state is going to polls in this year.
Mehta, representing the Governor, submitted before a bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao that a decision will be taken as per the Constitution, on the remission of the sentence by exercising discretionary power under Article 161 within the next 3-4 days.
The top court had earlier expressed unhappiness that the recommendation made by the state government for remission of sentence of convicts has been pending before the Governor for over two years. The top court in 2014 had commuted Perarivalan’s sentence to life imprisonment citing long pendency of his mercy petition.
Following Mehta’s submission, the top court scheduled the petition filed by Perarivalan for consideration after four weeks. He had moved the top court seeking release from prison based on the recommendation made by the state government in 2018.
The top court told Mehta: “So we will not be needed to decide this plea? It is good that the Governor is deciding…”
Mehta replied yes, the court will not be required to decide the matter.
Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing the petitioner, said if the authority is deciding it, then it is all right.
“After 30 long years, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. We are hopeful that now the Governor has intervened in the Supreme Court proceedings to assure that he will decide in 3-4 days, there will be good news. The Cabinet had given its recommendation in 2018 and he is bound by it,” Sankaranarayanan told IANS.
The state government’s recommendation to the Governor for pardon to all the convicts has been pending for over two years. Convicts V. Sriharan alias Murugan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santham, Perarivalan alias Arivu, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, P. Ravichandaran and Nalini have been in jail for over 25 years.