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Decision on release of Rajiv case convicts expected in 2 weeks: TN govt

Chennai | The Tamil Nadu government informed the Madras High Court on Monday that it was expecting Governor Banwarilal Purohit will pass an order on the cabinet recommendation for the release of all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case within two weeks.

The submission was made by the government counsel before a bench of justices M M Sundresh and M Nirmal Kumar during the hearing of a petition filed by Robert Payas, one of the seven convicts serving life term in the case, seeking his release.

Recording the submission, the bench adjourned the petition by four weeks.

In a related development, a petition filed by another convict in the case, Nalini, seeking a direction to the governor’s office for steps to release all the seven convicts, was adjourned by four weeks by a bench of justices R Subbiah and C Saravanan.

It passed the order after the public prosecutor submitted that the court would be informed about the status from the governor’s office on the plea within four weeks.

The state cabinet had, on September 9 last year, recommended to the governor the release of Nalini, her husband Sriharan alias Murugan, Perarivalan, Payas, Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Santhan.

The government made the recommendation after the Supreme Court, on September 6 last year, disposed of a related petition filed by the Centre, saying the Tamil Nadu governor was at liberty to decide a mercy petition filed by Perarivalan.

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber on May 21, 1991 during an election rally at nearby Sriperumbudur.

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