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Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case : President Competent Authority To Decide Perarivalan's Pardon, Says Tamil Nadu Governor

Srishti Ojha
4 Feb 2021 3:32 PM GMT
Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case : President Competent Authority To Decide Perarivalans Pardon, Says Tamil Nadu Governor
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The Centre on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the Tamil Nadu Governor has proposed that the President of India is the competent authority to deal the request of remission of sentence in case of AG Perarivalan, the convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case The Ministry of Home Affairs has submitted an affidavit stating that the Tamil Nadu Governor, after considering facts...

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The Centre on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the Tamil Nadu Governor has proposed that the President of India is the competent authority to deal the request of remission of sentence in case of AG Perarivalan, the convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

The Ministry of Home Affairs has submitted an affidavit stating that the Tamil Nadu Governor, after considering facts and circumstances of the case, recorded that the President would be the competent authority and the Central Government will process the proposal in accordance with the law.

The affidavit filed by the Home Ministry on behalf of the Government has been filed in pursuance of the Supreme Court's order dated 22nd January 2021, whereby it had asked the Governor to decide the petitioner's application for remission. The order was passed after SG Tushar Mehta had informed the Supreme Court that the Tamil Nadu Governor will decide, "as per the Constitution", on the remission of the sentence in exercise of his discretionary power under Article 161 within the next 3-4 days.

The bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao was hearing the petition filed by Perarivalan seeking release from the prison based on the recommendation made by the State Government in September 2018. The bench had earlier expressed unhappiness over the fact that the recommendation made by the Tamil Nadu state government for the remission of the sentence had been pending before the Governor for over two years. In 2014, the Supreme Court had commuted Perarivalan's death sentence to life imprisonment citing the long pendency of his mercy petition.

On January 21, SG Mehta had submitted that he had received instructions to submit that the Governor of the State of Tamil Nadu will decide the issue as per the Constitution within the next 3-4 days.

Interestingly, the ASG K. M. Nataraj, had submitted that it is the President under Article 72 and not the Governor under Article 161 who is competent to grant pardon/remission.
 The writ petition was filed by Perarivalan, who was in death row for over two decades, aggrieved with the inaction of the Governor to decide on the recommendation made by the Tamil Nadu government in September 2018 to grant him pardon.
In 2014, the Supreme Court had commuted the death penalty to Perarivalan and two others to life imprisonment on account of long pendency of his mercy plea.
 

Click Here To Download Affidavit

[Read Affidavit]



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