Turns of justice in Perarivalan casetext_fields
The Supreme Court order granting bail to Perarivalan, hailing from Tamil Nadu who has been in jail for 32 years after being convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, should elate those who uphold human rights activists. The charge slapped on Perarivalan 19 years of age at the time of the crime, was charged with buying two nine-volt batteries for the gang that assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. He was sentenced to death for it. But the stance of Perarivalan was that he did not buy the battery to make a weapon to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi, a response he had given as statement before the CBI probe team. However, the CBI recorded only the part of the statement that the battery was provided and concealed the part about his ignorance about the intention. This fact was revealed in a 2017 documentary by the head of the investigation team, V.S. Thyagarajan himself. With this revelation, the Perarivalan case again became a topic of big discussion in the country. Even earlier, various human rights movements had demanded that Perarivalan be acquitted and released.
The mainstream political movements in Tamil Nadu had also been backing this demand. But the eyes of the judiciary remained closed tight on Perarivalan. Subsequently it was following a courageous and prolonged legal battle led by his mother Arputhammal that the Supreme Court granted him bail on 9 March. By then, the young mad had lost 32 years of his life. Such a long span of young life had to be in jail under (the now abolished) anti-terror law TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act), and in the name of a nine-volt battery. TADA was withdrawn following much criticism. But a more draconian law, UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) is still in force in the country today. The number of young people in jail without knowing what their crime is would be in the hundreds. . The story of a young man named Zakaria from Parappanangadi, Malappuram is similar to that of Perarivalan. He was arrested by the Karnataka Police at the age of 19 and has been in jail for 13 years. Zakaria was a temporary employee of the shop where some one the accused in the Bangalore blast case bought a SIM card. And he was booked on that basis. And how many young people have been incarcerated in this manner!
It is the judiciary that should come to the rescue when politicians and the police imprison and torture people for trivial reasons. However, the experiences of both Perarivalan and Zakaria show that the courts dither when it comes to sensational cases. The Supreme Court itself had noted in the case of Afzal Guru of the Parliament attack case that he was hanged to satisfy the public conscience. But that did not even surprise anyone. When it comes to the assassination of a former Prime Minister of the country like Rajiv Gandhi, it assumes huge emotional and political dimensions. Then the courts will not be ready to go into the merits of the case or scrutinize it. Perarivalan was a victim of this There may be many who now get excited that Perarivalan has got justice. There may be many who now get excited that Perarivalan has got justice. It shows a helpless situation when a bail is celebrated aloud about justice being done after 32 years of a young man's life has been snatched away. It would be ridiculous to celebrate after taking one's freedom and life and then after a while giving it back as if it were a generosity.
But there is also the fact that the agencies who lock up helpless human beings in this way do not try to find the real culprits in the case or bring out the intrigues behind it. It is not yet clear who actually made a conspiracy behind the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. The name of god-man Chandraswamy did come up many times in connection with the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. This Swami is one with close connections with various high-ranking leaders inside and outside India. The investigation team has not been able to even trace the origin of the Rs 40 lakh seized from some of the accused. It is the case of the assassination of a former Prime Minister of India that lies in this state having got nowhere. All that investigative agencies have proven capable of doing is arrest a people and put them behind bars. The courts give a stamp of endorsement for that. Some of them are released after some time. And then there is nothing more than a jubilation that justice has won.