Top court to hear Rajiv Gandhi case convict Perarivalan’s plea in October
The Supreme Court on Friday deferred its hearing till October on the petition filed by Perarivalan, life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking to recall the judgment convicting him in the case.
The court had earlier agreed to examine whether he can be released on the basis of new evidence, which has come to light – whether the two batteries supplied by him were the ones used in the ‘belt bomb’ that killed Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. A Bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said as the matter required detailed hearing it would be listed in October.
Perarivalan in his petition said the only substantial overt act attributed to him was that of supplying two 9-volt Golden Power batteries, alleged to be used in the improvised explosive device. The conspiracy in relation to the origin and make of the improvised explosive device would throw much light in to the larger conspiracy. The CBI internal evidence shows that even if providing of the 9-volt batteries was true, the knowledge of the conspiracy cannot be attributed to the petitioner.
In its response the CBI said the role of Perarivalan in the conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi was clearly established. It said the Tada court had noted that Perarivalan went to Jaffna in Sri Lanka during June 1990 along with Baby Subramanian to hatch the conspiracy.
Further his acquaintance with Murugan in Jaffna, his visit to Vellore Fort where LTTE cadres were lodged and removal of LTTE literature and pamphlets established his active participation. The Tada court had categorically held that Perarivalan was neck deep in conspiracy with one-eyed Sivarasan and others and had actively assisted in bringing about the conspiracy to a successful completion.
The CBI said Perarivalan was an electronic engineer and he knew that to explode IED power source would be 9-volt battery, which was ultimately used in exploding the device (belt bomb). The claim of Perarivalan that he was innocent and was not aware of the conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi could not be accepted. The CBI pointed out that death sentence on him was commuted to life term only due to delay in disposal of mercy petitions by the President and the order should be sustained and the petition should be dismissed.