Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Supreme Court seeks CBI reply on Perarivalan’s plea

The Supreme Court on Friday sought the CBI’s reply to Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A G Perarivalan’s plea for recall of the court’s May 1999 order upholding his conviction.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi gave the agency three weeks to file a reply and posted the matter for February 21.

Perarivalan was found guilty of supplying two 9-volt batteries which were allegedly used in the improvised explosive device (IED) that killed Rajiv Gandhi.

In his petition seeking the recall of conviction, Perarivalan referred to an affidavit filed by then CBI Superintendent of Police V Thiagarajan, who had recorded his confessional statement under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. The officer, said the petition, had submitted that Perarivalan had stated in his confessional statement that at the time the batteries were purchased, he had no idea for what purpose these were
going to be used. The officer, however, had not recorded this part.

The petition said Thiagarajan’s affidavit, “as it stands today will in any case go to the root of the matter and will remove the very basis of the conviction of the applicant in the conviction judgment, the applicant seeks for appropriate direction in this regard”.

It claimed that the officer’s affidavit will “completely wipe out” the guilt of Perarivalan.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed on the night of May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by LTTE suicide bomber Dhanu at an election rally. Advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, who appeared for Perarivalan, said he had been languishing in jail for 26 years.


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