Rajiv Gandhi's assassins bail plea deferred till Nov. 29
Chennai, Oct 28 (ANI): The Madras High Court on Friday adjourned to November 29 the hearing on the bail petitions filed by assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
A bench, comprising Justices C Nagappan and M Sathyanaranan, adjourned the hearing on the bail petitions.
Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at an election rally in Sriperumbedur on May 21, 1991. Fourteen other people also lost their lives in that blast.
Counsel for Gandhis' assassins, V. 'Vaiko' Gopalswamy, who is also the chief of regional Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), disclosed the court's ruling.
"Arguments were heard before a different bench. Immediately, the three judges' bench released the petition from their court. So, it is likely to be taken up in the same bench, which has already heard. Therefore, we had made a plea that tentative date may be fixed for hearing in this court," Vaiko told mediapersons here.
"This was agreed by the lordships, so the date has been fixed for 29th of next month. Mr. Jethmalani, I do hope, will definitely come and appear. The interim stay is not a conditional stay, it is continued," he added.
Meanwhile, echoing similar sentiments, Arkudam, the grieving mother of Murugan, one of the accused, emotionally appealed to the government to secure her son's release.
"21 years ago, my son was taken by the Central Bureau of Investigation for inquiry. He has been in prison ever since. He has spent most of his youth in the darkness of prison. Hopefully, the judgment would be in his favour," said Arkudam.
"Even Sonia Gandhi and her daughter have supported his mercy plea. At least now he should get relief, since he has been in prison since the past 20 years. He has been through enough punishment already," she added.
In 1999, the three convicts - Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan - were sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for being part of the group that conspired to kill Gandhi.
They were scheduled to be hanged on September 9. But the Madras High Court suspended their execution by eight weeks. Their mercy petitions, filed 11 years ago asking for their sentence to be commuted to life in prison, have been rejected by President Pratibha Patil.
The convicts have appealed to the High Court against this decision on the grounds that the President's office showed "an inordinate and inexplainable delay" in deciding their mercy petitions and so it violates Article 21 of the Constitution (Protection of life and personal liberty).
After Nalini, married to Murugan, gave birth to a baby girl in jail, her death sentence was commuted to life at the request of Sonia Gandhi. (ANI)
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