CHENNAI: Madras High Court on Thursday granted 30-day parole to former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case convict Perarivalan alias Arivu.
A few months ago, his mother Arputhammal had moved the High Court seeking parole on humanitarian grounds, given her son’s prevailing health conditions and the high risk he faced at a time when many of his fellow jail inmates were testing COVID-19 positive. His mother had sought 90-day parole for his treatment in view of his declining health conditions.
Despite the state government’s refusal to grant parole earlier under the exemption available in the prison rules, a division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice P Velmurugan directed the state to grant him parole.
Although Perarivalan was convicted in 1991 under the grounds of having provided two 9 volt batteries, which were used in making the bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi, it was established later that he merely procured the batteries without knowing about the conspiracy or what the batteries would be used for.
He has been languishing in prison for 29 years and there have been many voices demanding his release.
Earlier, Perarivalan’s counsel had argued that he deserved parole on health grounds, pointing out that the Government’s counter-affidavit too makes a mention of the various ailments that the convict is suffering from.
However, the State Public Prosecutor had rejected the same saying that prisoners are entitled for leave only once in two years.
It was added that Arivu had been last granted parole from November 2019 to January this year.