The Tamil Nadu cabinet on Sunday recommended to the state Governor Banwarilal Purohit for the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The recommendation will be sent to the governor immediately said D Jayakumar, Tamil Nadu minister after a cabinet meeting took place in Chennai.
A resolution to this effect was adopted at the state cabinet which met here under Chief Minister K Palaniswami's leadership, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters. It decided to recommend to Governor Banwarilal Purohit, the release of Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini, serving life imprisonment.
The cabinet also extended its recommendations asking for the re-naming of Chennai central railway station as MG Ramachandran Central railway station. It also urged the union government to accord 'Bharat Ratna' to former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
This comes a few days after the Supreme Court on September 6 had asked the Tamil Nadu government to seek redressal and direction from the State Governor for its demand to release the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, disposed of the petition filed by the Centre on Tamil Nadu government`s proposal seeking an early release of the convicts.
On August 10, the Centre stated that the President had rejected the proposal to release seven convicts. The affidavit from the central government came after the apex court asked the Centre to explain its take on Tamil Nadu`s 2016 decision to acquit all seven convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination.
Earlier on Saturday, Nalini Sriharan, one of the life convicts, had forwarded a petition to the Tamil Nadu Home Secretary urging the government to consider her plea for early release. A life convict at the Special Prison for Women here, Nalini in her petition recalled that she had made a representation on February 22, 2014 to the government seeking her release under Article 161 of the Constitution.
Article 161 deals with the judicial powers of the governor of a state. Her plea for release was in accordance with the state government's 1994 Scheme of Premature Release of Life Convicts, she said.
In May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber, during an election rally in Sriperumbudur.All seven - Nalini, Perarivalan, Murugan, Santhan, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran - were convicted in the case. All seven convicts are serving life terms and had been in jail for the last 27 years.