Chennai: The Central Information Commission (CIC), New Delhi, will hear the petition of A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu, one of the three convicts facing death penalty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, through video-conferencing on Monday. The hearing pertains to a Right to Information (RTI) petition filed by him seeking to know the grounds for the rejection of his mercy petition by the President, sources in the Prison Department said. Perarivalan and the other two convicts, Murugan alias Sriharan and Santhan, are lodged in the Vellore Central Prison in Tamil Nadu.
Perarivalan had petitioned to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2012 asking for the reasons why the President rejected his mercy petition. Since there was no response, he sent a telegram to the Chief Information Commissioner stating that his plea should be treated as urgent and heard on priority.
“The telegram was in the backdrop of the secret executions of Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab. The hearing through video-conferencing will take place on Monday and Perarivalan will explain how he was denied access to certain crucial information relating to his case,” Rajiv Rufus, one of the advocates for Perarivalan, told The Hindu on Sunday.
Recalling the petition of advocate K. Mayilsamy in 2011 to the President’s Secretariat and the MHA seeking, among things, the copy of the mercy petition rejected by the President and copies of the complete correspondence, file notings etc., relating to the mercy petitions filed by Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan, Mr. Rufus said the CIC had given specific directions to the respondents that they should provide the copies of the mercy petitions that were rejected and disclose copies of the file notings not forming part of the ministerial advice to the President after removing the names and other references regarding the identities of the public servants.
Despite the specific directions, the MHA had not disclosed certain vital documents. For instance, on Page 25 in the bunch of documents given by the MHA, it had been mentioned that no investigation was conducted about the bomb supposed to have been used in the case and that the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Authority (MDMA) was directed to enquire into it, he said. The MHA said it might seek the MDMA’s comments on the making of the bomb before processing the mercy petition. “But we have not been given any copy of the correspondence conducted by the MHA with the MDMA of documents showing the results of such an investigation conducted by the MDMA...,” he said.
Also, the MHA had failed to supply any document pertaining to the correspondence with the Tamil Nadu Prison Department relating to the conduct of the convicts in prison. This correspondence to ascertain the behaviour of convicts on death row was part of a normal procedure while processing their mercy petitions, Mr. Rufus added.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)