The Madras High Court dismissed two writ petitions for release filed by Nalini Sriharan and Ravichandran, both convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assasination case.
The matter came up before the first bench of Chief Justice MN Bhandari and Justice N.Mala. The bench dismissed the writ petitions as the High Courts do not have the power under Article 226 of the Constitution unlike the special powers of the Supreme Court conferred under Article 142.
On May 18, the Supreme Court had ordered release of AG Perarivalan, another convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assasination case under the special powers conferred on it under Article 142 of the Constitution. Nalini and Ravichandran filed writ petitions saying that they too should be released using the same yardstick.
The previous AIADMK Government recommended release of all the 7 accused in the case and forwarded it to the then Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Since there was no response from the Governor, the convicts filed writ petitions in the High Court for a direction to the Governor to order their release.