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Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Perarivalan gets bail after 3 decades

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Perarivalan gets bail after 3 decades

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to A G Perarivalan who is one of the seven convicted in the assassination of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu on 21 March 1991.

Perarivalan, 19 years old at the time he was arrested, has done time in jail for 32 years, aside from having been granted parole three times before and he is currently on parole.

A Bench of justice L Nageswara Rao, granting the bail despite vehement opposition from the Assistant Solicitor General KM Nataraj, stated that he had undergone imprisonment for 32 years.

He will walk free subjecting to conditions by the trial court and will have to report to CBI officer on the first day every month. "But Perarivalan has been asked to report to the local police station for the time being. He is on parole currently, and has been on parole three times earlier, The News Minute" reported.

The court also observed that "there was no complaint about his conduct" while he was previously on parole.

"Taking into account the fact that the applicant has spent over 30 years in prison, we are of the considered view that he is entitled to be released on bail, inspite of the vehement opposition by the Centre", the bench said in its order.

Perarivalan was arrested on the charges of supplying the two nine-volt batteries used in the belt bomb that killed the former Prime Minister.

The Supreme Court in 1999 acquitted 19 persons, convicting only seven whereas a trial court had sentenced 26 persons to death in the case.

Of the seven convicted, Nalini, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan were awarded death sentences, which the Supreme Court in 2014 commuted to life imprisonment, citing delays in deciding on their mercy pleas. But the three others of the seven convicted had previously been given life imprisonment.

Perarivalan's plea for remission, meanwhile, gained more strength after a former CBI official in 2017 admitted to omitting a crucial part of Periravalan's confessional statement, the report said.

The officer, Thiagarajan, disclosed in 2017 about failing to record that Perarivalan was unaware of the purpose of the two batteries he was asked to purchase.

Expressing remorse over Perarivalan's long time in jail, the official also said that Periravalan's ignorance about the use of the batteries was revealed after investigation.


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