Chennai: In the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case convict Perarivalan (a) Arivu’s parole plea before Madras High Court, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday (August 3) expressed its contrary view. The convict's mother, Arputhammal, had moved the HC on humanitarian grounds citing her son’s prevailing health conditions as many of his fellow jail inmates were testing COVID-19 positive.
The High Court, however, adjourned the hearing till August 12th. Perarivalan was convicted in 1991 under the grounds of having provided two 9-volt batteries which were used in the bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi, but it was later established that he merely procured the batteries without knowing about the conspiracy or what the batteries would be used for.
Senior Advocate R Shunmugasundaram, Perarivalan’s counsel argued that he deserves parole on the health grounds, pointing out that the government’s counter-affidavit too makes mention of the various ailments that the convict is suffering from.
Senior Advocate A Natarajan, the State Public Prosecutor, however, opposing the same said that prisoners are entitled to leave only once in two years. It was added that Arivu had been last granted parole from November 2019 to January this year. Natarajan also emphasized that the pendency of the investigation of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination by MDMA is the reason behind the undue delay of the Governor's decision on the cabinet recommendation dated 09.09.2018 of the Tamil Nadu government.
Multi-disciplinary Monitoring Agency
The MDMA, a special wing of CBI, was appointed following the Jain Commission report to probe the larger conspiracy in the former Prime Minister’s assassination case, which involved persons of other countries.
Initially, the CBI had registered an FIR and which was subsequently tried as Calendar Case no. 3/92 against 26 accused including Arivu. A split trial case in Calendar Case No. 11/92 was pending against LTTE leader Prabhakaran and 2 others, wherein MDMA prayer for further investigation and the same was allowed in 2000.
In 2013, Perarivalan prayed before the designated TADA Court, Chennai for effective monitoring of the pending probe, but this plea faced stiff opposition from the CBI, investigating the case. That case too was rejected and it was stated that Perarivalan did not have the locus to know the status of the pending MDMA investigation.
In 2017, CBI officer Thiyagarajan had informed the Supreme Court about an error he had made while recording Perarivalan’s confession. Then too, the apex court mentioned that the progress of the MDMA investigation was not functioning satisfactorily, and the top court observed that Arivu could be released under Rule 161 by the state government.
The state government recently informed that Governor Banwarilal Purohit is awaiting the final report of the MDMA, which is completely contrary to their earlier view of former CM J Jayalalithaa's decision to release 7 prisoners, including Perarivalan.