Nalini Sriharan, one of the six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was released from Vellore jail on Saturday.
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the release of six convicts in the assassination of the former Prime Minister, including Nalini Sriharan and RP Ravichandran. Both had been serving a life sentence in the case.
A bench of BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna passed the order while taking into consideration the good conduct of convicts in the prison. Visuals on social media saw Nalini, the longest serving woman prisoner in India at 31 years, being taken to complete her release formalities at Vellore jail.
The convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was spotted smiling and waving to waiting media persons as she was escorted to a police van post her release. The apex court noted that they had been behind bars for a very long period.
“Applicants are thus directed to be released unless wanted in any other case. Matter accordingly disposed of,” the bench stated in its order, granting their pleas for release.
The top court further said, “Nalini has been behind bars for over three decades and her conduct has also been satisfactory. She has a PG diploma in Computer Application. Ravichandran’s conduct has also been found to be satisfactory and he has undertaken various studies during his incarceration including a PG diploma in Arts. He has also collected various amounts for charity.”
Apart from Nalini, the other convicts in the case are Ravichandran, Robert Payas, Jayakumar, S Raja, and Shriharan.
On May 18, the Supreme Court evoked its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to release AG Perarivalan, who was one of the seven convicts in the assassination case. Nalini and Ravichandran had approached the apex court seeking release from prison-like fellow convict AG Perarivalan.
The Tamil Nadu government had earlier recommended the pre-mature release of convicts saying that its 2018 aid and advice for the remission of their life sentence is binding upon the Governor.