The Tamil Nadu cabinet on Sunday recommended the release of 7 convicts of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The recommendation will be sent to the Tamil Nadu Governor immediately, Tamil Nadu Minister D Jayakumar said. Speaking on the matter, Tamil Nadu Minister D Jayakumar said Governor must accept the recommendation of the government under Article 161 of the Constitution. It comes days after the Supreme Court passed an order on the case and advised the state government to take a final call on it. According to Article 161, Governors have the power to grant pardons and suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.
“I met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister today, he assured me that Governor will surely accept our recommendation and very soon all the 7 convicts will be free. We thank this govt which has paved the way for the release,” said Arputhammal, mother of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict AG Perarivalan.
On September 8, DMK chief MK Stalin asked Tamil Nadu government to conduct a cabinet meeting immediately and pass a resolution to recommend to the Governor to release convicts of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case including Perarivalan.
On August 10, the central government had turned down the Tamil Nadu’s proposal to release the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. It further told the Supreme Court that setting that free will set a dangerous precedent.
In January, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to take a call on the proposal sent by the Tamil Nadu government in 2016. Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu at a poll rally by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed in the blast.