Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday said it cannot take any unilateral decision on the plea by Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, for her premature release.
"This is a major issue that has to be discussed at the national level. Therefore, we cannot unilaterally take a decision on it," Chief Minister M Karunanidhi told reporters in Chennai.
He said the state government has appointed an advisory board to consider her plea and its report "is on its way."
The Board was formed after a direction from the Madras High Court on September 24, 2008, while partly allowing a petition by Nalini to consider her request.
Besides Nalini, imprisoned for the last 19 years, the Board has heard the pleas of two other convicts in the case, Jayakumar and Robert Payas, seeking their premature release.
The authorities concerned had, in October 2007, rejected the plea of Nalini, arrested on June 14, 1991 and sentenced to death by a special court along with 25 others in January 1998.
In May 1999, the Supreme Court had confirmed the death sentence of only Nalini and three others. Her death penalty was commuted to life by the state government on April 24, 2000 after the then Governor allowed her clemency petition.
Nalini moved the Madras High Court last week, seeking permission to argue in person in the appeal filed by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy against setting up of the board to consider her premature release.
Her request came in a telegram addressed to the Registrar General of the High Court, which has been referred to the Division Bench hearing Swamy's appeal.