Politics

Indian Supreme Court frees convict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case


A bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao invoked extraordinary powers to grant reduction to A.G. Perarivalan, 50, who was already granted parole in March.

NEW DELHI – India’s high court docket on Wednesday ordered the discharge of a person jailed over the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, greater than 30 years after he was first arrested.

A bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao invoked extraordinary powers to grant reduction to A.G. Perarivalan, 50, who was already granted parole in March.

Perarivalan was convicted for supplying batteries utilized in a bomb that killed Gandhi within the southern state of Tamil Nadu on 21 May 1991.

The bombing was carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a Sri Lankan armed separatist group.

Gandhi’s killing by a suicide bomber was seen as retaliation for a 1987 Indian authorities pact with Sri Lanka to disarm the Tamil guerrillas.

India later withdrew troops deployed to the island nation after dropping 1,200 of them by the hands of the rebels.

Perarivalan, who was arrested in 1991 and was 19 on the time of the assassination, was first sentenced to dying, however later had his punishment commuted to a life sentence.

His case was mired in authorized wranglings since he filed a mercy petition in 2015 between the state and the central authorities.

Tamil Nadu’s governor handed the choice on the plea to India’s president, however the Supreme Court dominated that this didn’t have “constitutional value” and invoked particular powers to order Perarivalan’s launch.

Six others are nonetheless in jail serving life sentences within the case.

Rajiv Gandhi turned India’s youngest-ever chief after his mom, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated in October 1984. He dominated till dropping an election 5 years later.





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