Timeline of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Convict AG Perarivalan Release Plea

18 May, 2022 15:41 IST|Priyadarshini

The Supreme Court of India passed its final verdict today on a plea seeking the release of AG Perarivalan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case. He was behind the bars for 31 years. Perarivalan was arrested when he was 19 years old for his alleged involvement in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. He was accused of buying the two 9-volt batteries for Sivarasan, the LTTE man who masterminded the assassination.  Here’s a timeline ofnRajiv Gandhi Assassination case.

May 21, 1991:  Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at an election rally by a suicide bomber on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur near Chennai. He was killed by an assassin of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Dhanu.

June 1991: A G Perarivalan was arrested in Chennai by CBI officials and he was booked under the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) like others accused in the case.

May 1992: A charge sheet was filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the CBI in the case before the TADA Designated Court at Poonamallee.

January 1998: TADA court awards death sentence to all 26 accused including Nalini and Perarivalan.

May 1999: Supreme Court frees 19 others and the death sentence was awarded to Nalini, Santhan, Murugan alias Sriharan and Perarivalan commutes the death sentence of three others to life; frees 19 others

April 2020: The death penalty of Nalini is commuted to life by the then Tamil Nadu governor.

2001:  Murugan, Santhan, and Perarivalan submitted their mercy pleas to the President of India. 

2006:  In Perarivalan's autobiography, An Appeal from the Death Row, he mentioned how he was implicated in the conspiracy.

August 2011: The then president Pratibha Patil, rejects the mercy petitions of Murugan, Santhan, and Perarivalan after 11 years.

August 2011: The then chief minister, late J Jayalalithaa passed a resolution in the Assembly seeking commutation of the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan, and Perarivalan. Madras HC stays the execution orders on the same day. After which the case went to Supreme Court.

Feb 2013: Justice K T Thomas, who headed the SC bench in 1999 said, "This appears to be a third type of sentence, something which is unheard and constitutionally incorrect. If they are hanged today or tomorrow, they will be subjected to two penalties for one offence."

2015: Perarivalan submits a mercy petition to the Tamil Nadu governor seeking release under Article 161 of the Constitution.

August 2017: The Tamil Nadu government grants parole to Perarivalan.

September 9, 2018: The then chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami recommends the release of all seven convicts.

2021: The Supreme Court asks the centre to decide whether to go ahead with Tamil Nadu Government's decision to release the seven convicts or not.

May 2021: Perarivalan is out on parole.

March 2022: Supreme Court grants bail to Perarivalan.

May 18, 2022: Supreme Court ordered the release of AG Perarivalan. He has spent more than 30 years in jail.

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