Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Madras HC Grants 30 Days' Leave To Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case Convict, On Grounds Of Illness [Read Order]

Akshita Saxena
25 Sep 2020 7:24 AM GMT
Madras HC Grants 30 Days Leave To Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case Convict, On Grounds Of Illness [Read Order]
x

In view of multiple co-morbid illness and high chances of getting Covid-19 infection in the prison, the Madras High Court on Thursday directed the concerned authorities to grant 30 days' leave to a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, T. Arputham. The Bench of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice P. Velmurugan noted that the convict had recently availed 60 days leave and the...

In view of multiple co-morbid illness and high chances of getting Covid-19 infection in the prison, the Madras High Court on Thursday directed the concerned authorities to grant 30 days' leave to a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, T. Arputham.

The Bench of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice P. Velmurugan noted that the convict had recently availed 60 days leave and the next spell of ordinary leave could be granted to him only from 12.01.2022, in terms of Rule 22(3) of the Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, 1982.

As per this provision, the next spell of leave can be granted only after two years from the date on which the convict returned from the last ordinary leave. In the case at hand, since the Petitioner had recently returned from a 60 days' leave, on 11.01.2020.

Taking note of the "extraordinary circumstances" in this case however, the Court directed the Government to invoke its powers under Rule 40 of the Suspension of Sentence Rules and grant leave to the convict.

"Rule 40 of Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, 1982 has been incorporated to relax any of the Rules when an extraordinary situation arises and the Government could take a decision. The petitioner has made out an extraordinary situation to exempt the convict from all or any of the provisions of Rules, especially, when the facts are admitted by the Government," the Court said.

It ordered thus:

"The health condition of the convict is admitted by the Government and in view of the pandemic situation, his chances of getting infection are high and therefore, the Government cannot reject the reasons stated by the petitioner as not valid which is contrary to the facts."

The order has come in a petition filed by the convict's mother who informed the Court that her son was suffering from Hyper Tension since 1996 and Chronic prostatitis, Cystitis, Gout Arthritis, Irritable bowel syndrome, Insomnia and other issues due to prolonged incarceration. He is being treated periodically at Government General Hospital for the past five years. Due to covid pandemic, he could not be provided with proper treatment and therefore prayed that he be released on 90 days' leave.

In the facts and circumstances the Court remarked thus:

"When the Government itself has admitted that the petitioner's son is suffering from multiple co-morbid illness and his chances of getting infection are high, especially, when coprisoners are infected with Covid-19 and a Probationary Officer has already died due to covid infection, the convict should be given treatment privately, especially, when it is not possible to give treatment in Government Hospital…"

It further observed that the Suspension of Sentence Rules only contemplate 30 days leave at a time. Therefore, it ordered:

"90 days leave as prayed for by the petitioner cannot be granted and this Court directs the Government to grant 30 days leave. After expiry of 30 days leave, it is open to the Government to take a decision to extend further period of 30 days."

The Court recalled that the State Government lead by then CM J. Jayalalithaa, had made a recommendation to the Governor in favor of releasing the convicts prematurely, by invoking the powers under Article 161 of the Constitution.

Whereas the matter is pending as the Governor is waiting for the final report from the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency constituted by CBI to look into the proposal, the Court observed thus:

"When such decisions have been taken, when the convicts are eligible to lead a normal life without any restriction along with other citizens, there is no occasion for the Government to oppose the grant of leave to the petitioner's son relying upon Rule 22(3) of the Rules, especially, when a case has been made out for relaxation on undisputed health grounds."

The Court also criticized the authorities for sitting o the Petitioner's request for so long and deciding the same, that too without recording proper reasons, only after a nudge from the Court.

Arputham, amongst others, was convicted for assassination former PM Rajiv Gandhi by the Designate Court No.1 under TADA Act, 1987. He is currently undergoing life imprisonment and has been incarcerated for the past 29 years.

Click Here To Download Order

Read Order

Next Story