The Supreme Court has granted bail to AG Perarivalan, the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court granted bail to Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict AG Perarivalan, who had petitioned the court for a remission of his sentence [AG Perarivalan v. State of Tamil Nadu].

Perarivalan  previously served 32 years in prison and there; have been no complaints about his behaviour during his three previous parole periods, according to a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai.

The central government, through Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KM Nataraj, argued that; Perarivalan is a convicted felon who sentenced to death before; the Supreme Court remitted his sentence to life imprisonment in 2014.

“It’s for life. Imprisonment lasts for the rest of one’s life. He  sentenced to death. How can remission be reduced once it has been made conditional on life? “The ASG asked.

The Bench responded, “We can grant bail subject to remission.”

“The trial court will set conditions; for his release, and he must report to the CBI officer on the first of every month.

Perarivalan  found guilty and condemned to death when; he 19 years old for assisting in the creation of the bomb that; used in the killing of India’s former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. On the basis; of a delay in deciding their mercy petitions, the Supreme Court modified his death sentence to life imprisonment in 2014.

The topic of who would be the competent authority; to award clemency has been a source of contention for a long time, and; the question of who would be the competent authority to grant clemency continues to be a source of contention.

On December 30, 2015, Perarivalan applied to the Governor for a pardon. The Supreme Court requested; the Governor to decide the pardon plea as he “deemed fit” almost three years later, in September 2018. Three days later, on September 9, 2018, the Tamil Nadu Cabinet recommended to the Governor that; Perarivalan’s sentence be commuted and that; he be released immediately, but; the Governor has yet to decide.

On November 3, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that; the investigation into the assassination should not prevent the Tamil Nadu Governor from; deciding on the application for pardon of criminals like him; who have been in prison for more than two decades.

In October 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) advised the Supreme Court that; the Governor of Tamil Nadu is the competent authority to decide on remission requests.

However, the Governor has stated that the President is the authorised authority to take a call on remission

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