The National Law University, Delhi has cancelled the proposed talk by A. G. Perarivalan, who was convicted for assassinating Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, that was to be hosted by its project, Project 39A at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.

Project 39A which campaigns against awarding of death sentences by courts, announced the event terming Perarivalan as an "activist" and an "author".

"The 5th P39A Annual Lecture will be delivered by AG #Perarivalan (author, activist, & former death row prisoner)", said Project 39A on Twitter.

However, after backlash against the "5th Project 39A Annual Lecture (2022)" where Perarivalan was to speak, Project 39A issued a statement yesterday stating that the lecture will be held online on December 17 due to "serious threats of violence and vandalism to the venue over our choice of speaker". The said statement once again called Perarivalan an "activist" and an "author".

"The lecture 'The Denial of Justice and A Quest Unfinished' is Perarivalan's story of struggle. The human impact of a broken system must guide criminal justice reform", said the statement issued in the name of Project 39A as well as the National Law University, Delhi.

The National Law University (NLU), Delhi was established in 2008 under the National Law University Act of 2007. The Chief Justice of Delhi High Court is the Chancellor of NLU Delhi.

Justice S. Ravindra Bhat of the Supreme Court is a Visitor at the NLU while Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar of the Delhi High Court, Chairman of Bar Council of India, Chairman of Bar Council of Delhi, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and the Chief Secretary of the Govt. of NCT are among its Governing Council.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances the 5th Annual Lecture In Criminal Law (2022) by P39A is cancelled", said a statement issued by the Registrar of the NLU today.

Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) had highlighted the issue and had sought the intervention of the Central government in the matter.

Perarivalan was convicted for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Supreme Court ordered his release in May 2022 after he spent over 30 years in jail.