Nalini Sriharan, convicted in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, has been granted parole by the Madras High Court on Friday. Last month, she was allowed to appear in person and argue on her plea seeking six months ordinary leave to make arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.
Nalini, who has been in prison for over 27 years, wanted the court to direct the superintendent of police, Special Prison for Women in Vellore, to produce her before the court so that she could argue her case for leave as party-in-person.
According to Nalini, a life convict is entitled to one-month leave once in two years and since she had never availed such ordinary leave for more than 27 years, she made a representation to prison authorities on February 25 seeking six-month leave to make arrangement for her daughter’s marriage.
She was initially sentenced to death for her involvement in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. However, her death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Tamil Nadu government on April 24, 2000. She claimed that after commutation of her death sentence, around 3,700 life convicts, who had served 10 years of imprisonment and less, were released by the Tamil Nadu government.
The AIADMK government had adopted a resolution recommending Governor Banwarilal Purohit the release of seven convicts—Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini—serving life terms. Chief Minister K Palaniswami had said his government was committed to the release of the convicts and expressed hope the governor would act on the cabinet recommendation for setting them free.
Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumpudur near here on May 21, 1991.