The Supreme Court has dismissed a suit seeking the release of Nalini Sriharan, her husband Murugan and five others awarded death or life sentences in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The apex court bench of Justice VS Sirpurkar and Justice Mukundakam Sharma dismissed as withdrawn a petition filed by E Veluchamy challenging the Madras High Court order which also dismissed the plea but with a cost of Rs 1 lakh.
Justice Sirpukar, while dismissing the plea July 23, asked the petitioner as to why even after the dismissal by the high court he wanted to pursue the matter before the Supreme Court.
The petitioner was seeking the release of the seven convicts on the ground that the Jain Commission that went the conspiracy angle of the Rajiv Gandhi's assassination had recommended further investigation into the matter.
The petitioner said that since all the convicts have already undergone 14 years of imprisonment they should be released. Of the seven convicts, three were awarded death penalty and four were given life term.
The high court while dismissing the plea said that the Supreme Court had dealt with all these aspects while deciding the case and the petition was ill conceived.
The high court held that the petitioner had no locus standig in the matter and the accused had not moved before the court.
"The seven persons are not detained under any preventive detention laws, but are convict prisoners serving their sentences as awarded by the Supreme Court, after exhausting all legal remedies available to them. No provision of law permits a third party to file any petition for any relief on behalf of such accused persons, except the accused themselves," said the high court.
Decrying the "malicious attempt" of Veluchamy, the judges asked him to pay Rs 1 lakh to the chief justice's relief fund.
The court also directed the registrar general to initiate all necessary legal proceedings to get the amount from Veluchamy under the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act, which involves even attachment of properties.
In his habeas corpus petition, Veluchamy faulted the Central Bureau of Investigation probe and said the real culprits had not been brought to the book.
Citing the formation of various judicial committees which went into the conspiracy angle of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, he wanted the court to set at liberty the seven convicts.
Murugan and two others are on death row, while Nalini is among four convicts serving life terms.