Nalini Sriharan can argue her plea in person, says Madras HC
Nalini Sriharan, a life convict in the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has the right to argue her plea in person for seeking parole to attend her daughter’s wedding in London, the Madras high court said on Tuesday and rejected the contention of the Tamil Nadu government that producing her in the court involved security risks.
“What issues are there in producing her in the court? Why can’t you provide adequate security while producing her in person?” a bench of justices MM Sundresh and M Nirmal Kumar asked the government.
“The plea for arguing one’s case in person could not be turned down. If needed, special security arrangements should be made,” the bench observed, rejecting the objections of the government citing security concerns.
Former PM Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumpudur near Chennai on May 21, 1991. The LTTE, a militant group, had fought for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka until it was militarily defeated in 2009.
Besides Nalini, her husband Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Robert Payas were convicted for life in the case.
Lodged in the Vellore Special Prison for Women for the past 27 years, Nalini has approached the high court seeking six month’s parole for her daughter Haritha’s marriage in London. In her petition, she had submitted that her death sentence was commuted to life in the year 2000.