Rajiv Gandhi assassination: India’s Supreme Court orders release of all 6 convicts

Court decision

The Supreme Court (SC) of India today (November 11) ordered the release of the six convicts serving life imprisonment in the assassination case of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The convicts whose release has been ordered include RP Ravichandran, Nalini Sriharan. who had sat on a hunger strike in 2019 demanding to be released, and her husband Murugan, a Sri Lankan national.

Another convict in the case, AG Perarivalan was released in May this year after serving over 30 years in the case. The Tamil Nadu government had in March decided to remit the sentences of all the seven convicts and release them. However, the Centre rejected the proposal. Since then, the matter was pending in the SC.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber at Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.

Seven persons – Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Nalini, Robert, Jayakumar, and Ravichandran, were convicted.

Nalini’s death sentence was commuted to life in the year 2000 following Sonia Gandhi’s intervention, as she had given birth while in jail.

In 2014, the SC commuted Murugan, Santhan, and Perarivalan’s death sentences to life terms.