Rajiv case convict Nalini Argues in person; High Court grants month-long parole
Arguing her case in person before a Madras High Court division bench, Nalini Sriharan, life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, secured a month-long parole Friday to attend her daughter’s marriage in the U.K.
Incarcerated for more than 27 years, Nalini is longest serving woman convict in the country and would step out of prison for the second time. Earlier, she was given one day parole in March 2016 to attend the 16th day ritual after her father’s death.
Nalini had approached the high court seeking 6 months parole for Harithra’s wedding in the U.K. after prison authorities rejected her application. Born in Vellore prison, Harithra was brought up by her relatives in Britain.
Nalini told the court that she could not attend to any of her family members’ needs in the past 27 years and had to mobile money for her daughter’s marriage. She also read out a text in Tamil, thanking the High Court and claiming innocence.
Nalini said she could not pay for police protection during parole. Earlier, she had paid over Rs 16,000 towards police protection for a single day parole, she said.
The Tamil Nadu government said Nalini could only be granted leave for 30 days since six-months-leave at one go was impermissible under the prison rules. Further, it wanted the court to restrict her media interactions and social media posts during the parole.
Court ordered the government to bear the expenses towards Nalini’s escort and gave it 10 days to process her release.
Nalini was brought to the Court from the Vellore Special Prison for Women on Friday afternoon. Earlier, on June 25, the court had rejected state government’s objection to her court appearance.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, by a Sri Lankan woman suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumbudur near Chennai. Besides Nalini, her husband, Sriharan alias Murugan, Perarivalan, Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and Ravichandran are serving life term in the case.
The Tamil Nadu government, in September 2018, had recommended release of Nalini and the six other convicts, whose death sentence were commuted to life, in tune with the Supreme Court verdict. The governor is yet to decide on the cabinet resolution.
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