The files relating to all seven convicts in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case seeking their premature release, had been forwarded by the then Tamil Nadu Governor to the President on January 27, 2021, the Madras High Court was told on Thursday.

When the Writ Petition from Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in the case and serving life imprisonment at the Special Prison for Women in Vellore seeking release even without the consent of the Governor came up for further hearing, Advocate General R Shanmugasundaram said this to the Bench of Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy.

This submission was in response to a query raised by the Bench last week. Presently, Nalini was availing a month's parole, offered by the state government.

And the Bench adjourned the matter till April 25 after directing the AG to ascertain whether Nalini was punished for the offences under the TADA Act.

The previous AIADMK cabinet in September, 2018, had passed a resolution and forwarded its recommendation to the then Governor Banwarilal Purohit to order the premature release of all the seven life convicts, under Article 161 of the Constitution. As there was no response from the Governor, Nalini and others had filed several petitions in the High Court for a direction to the Governor to consider their plea. But they were all rejected by the High Court.

Hence, Nalini filed the present writ petition praying the court to order her release even without the consent of the Governor.

The seven convicts serving life imprisonment are: Murugan, Santhan, A G Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini. Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bomb attack at Sriperumbudur, near here, in May 1991.

With PTI inputs