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Nalini plans to appeal in apex court against decision

india Updated: Mar 30, 2010 22:49 IST

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Nalini Sriharan, serving life sentence for the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, will approach the Supreme Court against the Tamil Nadu government's decision to reject her appeal for release from prison, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Vellore, around 130 km from here, lawyer Pugazhendi said: "Nalini has decided to go in for appeal."

The lawer met Nalini in the Vellore prision and formally conveyed the government decision to accept the Prision Advisory Board's recommendation to turn down her request for release.

On Monday, Tamil Nadu Advocate General P.S. Raman submitted to the Madras High Court the government decision.

The board, headed by the Vellore district collector, listed eight counts so as not to free Nalini, including her reported refusal to apologise for the Gandhi assassination.

This is the second time after 2008 that a Prison Advisory Board has turned down Nalini's plea for freedom.

Congress leaders have opposed the release of Nalini and others convicted for the killing of Gandhi at an election rally at Sriperumbudur near here May 21, 1991.

Gandhi was blown up when a young woman suicide bomber from the LTTE detonated explosives strapped on her body while pretending to touch his feet at the rally.

According to investigators, Nalini was part of the "killer team" that wanted to kill Gandhi for sending the Indian Army to Sri Lanka in 1987. The troops fought the LTTE for over two years.

Originally, Nalini was convicted on 16 counts of murder and awarded death penalty. Later, at the intervention of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the slain Gandhi's widow, this was commuted to life imprisonment.

In September last year, Nalini filed a petition in the Madras High Court asking the Tamil Nadu government to convene the advisory board to consider her case for release from jail.

In her petition, she said that she was entitled for release in 2005 itself as she had completed 14 years in jail.

After her arrest, Nalini had married LTTE activist known by his nom de guerre Murugan. He is also in prison for the Gandhi killing. They now have a grown up daughter.

In March last year, Priyanka Vadra, daughter of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi, visited Nalini in the prison. Nalini cited the meeting while demanding her release.