More recently, by the Supreme Court using special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convict A. Yes. Orders have been issued to release Perarivalan.
The Supreme Court observed that “the Governor of Tamil Nadu has delayed the decision of the Governor of Tamil Nadu on the petition for the release of Perarivalan”. In such a situation, the Supreme Court, exercising the right under Article 142, orders to release them.
In fact, on 21 May 1991, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide attack during an election rally in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.
In this conspiracy, four were sentenced to death and three to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court, of which one is Perarivalan. He was arrested 20 days after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. He was accused of having bought two 9-volt batteries for making bombs and gave them to mastermind Sivarasan and bought a motorcycle by giving a wrong address.
Perarivalan was in jail for 31 years. The Tamil Nadu government had recommended to the Governor in the year 2018 for his release. But this matter is getting stuck in this legal issue, the issue has become that the President has to decide the release or can the Governor do it?
That is why this case reached the Supreme Court. The court said that the decision of the state cabinet is binding on the governor. In the last hearing, the court had rejected the Governor’s move, arguing that the matter had been referred to the President. The court had also disagreed with the Centre’s suggestion that everyone should wait for the President’s decision.
AG Perarivalan has been released by the Supreme Court, so will the rest of the convicts also be released? No. There are two reasons for this.
First, the Supreme Court has made it clear that it is doing justice in the exercise of its special power under Article 142. Hence, this relief will be limited to Perarivalan.
Second, the Supreme Court bench has ordered Perarivalan’s release because the SC was impressed by his behavior in jail and during parole and his urge to study behind bars.
The rest of the convicts will have to individually go before the Supreme Court. They have to satisfy the court that they are also entitled to premature release.
Regarding Article 142…
This article states that “The Supreme Court may, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, pass such decree or such order as may be necessary for the doing of complete justice in any suit or matter pending before it.”
Regarding Article 161…
This article gives the Governor the power to grant pardons, according to which “the Governor of a State shall be punished for the punishment of any person convicted of an offense committed against any law in respect of the matter to which the Governor’s power of that State extends.” shall have power to pardon, suspend, pause or remit or suspend, remit or commute a sentence”.