The Supreme Court on Monday (November 23) granted a week’s parole to AG Perarivalan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, for medical check-up.
The parole is an extension to an earlier one granted to Perarivalan by the Madras High Court that ended on November 23.
The apex court also instructed the Tamil Nadu government to provide police protection to the convict during hospital visits.
The Madras High Court had granted a 30-day parole to Perarivalan on September 24, acting on his mother Arputhammal’s petition who had apprised the court about her son’s poor health and risk due to the COVID-19 situation in the jail.
Perarivalan’s lawyer had earlier argued in court that he deserves parole on health grounds. The State Public Prosecutor, however, had turned down the appeal, saying prisoners are allowed parole only in two years.
Perarivalan, now 49, was convicted in 1991 for procuring two nine-volt batteries used in the bomb that killed Gandhi.
While the Supreme Court commuted his death sentence in 2014, the Tamil Nadu government had proposed to release him and six other convicts in the case.
The final decision, however, is pending with the Tamil Nadu governor, who despite a reminder by the Supreme Court in 2018 and several appeals by Perarivalan is yet to take a call on the same.
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The Centre in 2018 had told the court that it does not agree with the Tamil Nadu government’s proposal to release the seven convicts, as it would set “dangerous precedent”.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at an election rally in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur by a woman suicide bomber called Dhanu.