New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Tamil Nadu government to request the Governor to inform it about his decision on the mercy plea of a Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict.
Ther state government informed the court that the TN Cabinet had passed a resolution that recommended the Governor for premature release of all seven convicts, but it had no information on the Governor's decision.
The convicts had filed mercy petition under Article 161 of the Constitution. The Article 161 gives the Governor the power to pardon a person proved guilty in court.
A Division Bench, comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Deepak Gupta, said it couldn't issue any direction to the Governor and asked the state government to seek about his decision. The Governor couldn't sit indefinitely on a file, it added.
The court deferred the hearing for two weeks.
On January 21, the Supreme Court asked the TN government to inform it within two weeks if a decision had been taken by the Governor under Article 161 on pardon, commutation or remission of sentence of the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict.
The court pulled up the Centre for lack of substantial progress in the CBI-led multi-disciplinary monitoring agency (MDMA) probe to unravel the larger conspiracy behind the former Prime Minister's killing.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, representing the Centre, said things were beyond its control especially in the absence of response from various foreign countries on the letters rogatory.
The top court's response came on the plea of A.G, Perarivalan, 46, who sought suspension of his life sentence as the MDMA's probe remained incomplete. Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for Perarivalan, said his mercy petition was pending before the Governor.
The Supreme Court had earlier expressed displeasure on progress of the CBI probe, underway for the 22 years. The court also observed that the latest CBI report was a mirror image of the report filed two years ago. "What is the progress, we want to know", the court told the CBI.
In November 2019, the matter came up for hearing before the apex court, which sought latest status report on the assassination, and gave four weeks to the MDMA to furnish its report.