In line with AG Perarivalan, another Rajiv Gandhi case convict Nalini aims to win bail!

Days after the Supreme Court had granted bail to AG Perarivalan, one of the seven convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, for the first time in 31 years, another convict Nalini Sriharan has now been taking legal measures to win bail. Nalini, who is the long-term woman convict in India serving incarceration for the past three decades, has been taking efforts to walk out of the prison. 

Nalini's counsel has moved the sub-application for the bail to the Madras High Court on Monday - March 21 along with her writ petition from 2020 seeking bail with immediate effect. She has requested the court not to wait for the Governor's consent to the recommendation made by the Tamil Nadu government in 2018 to release all the convicts in the case. 

In her petition, Nalini has highlighted that the Supreme Court has awarded bail to Perarivalan by citing that he had spent more than three decades in prison. She said that she has also been imprisoned for more than three decades and she is entitled to get bail. Her petition would be taken up for hearing by the High Court and it must be noted that Nalini was granted parole before, but she hasn't been granted bail since 1991.

The bail awarded to Perarivalan had brought a window for other convicts to secure a bail. On March 9, 2022, the Supreme Court has granted bail for Perarivalan in the midst of opposition from Assistant Solicitor General KM Nataraj. The Supreme Court bench said, "Taking into account the fact that the applicant has spent over 30 years in prison, we are of the considered view that he is entitled to be released on bail, in spite of the vehement opposition by the Union government." 

The court further noted that there was no complaint about Perarivalan's conduct when he was released on parole three times. All the seven convicts were accused of assassinating the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. In 1999, Perarivalan, Nalini, her husband Murugan, and Santhan were awarded death sentences while the rest three convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment. 

However, in 2014, the Supreme Court has commuted the death sentences of the four convicts including Perarivalan to life, citing delays on their mercy petitions. After coming to power in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister MK Stalin has requested the President to remit the life sentence of the seven convicts in the case and to direct their immediate release.