The Tamil Nadu government chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami recommended for release of the 7 life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and put the ball in the Governor’s court to exercise his powers under Article 161 of the Constitution.
The convicts viz Nalini, Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Sriharan alias Murugan the husband of Nalini, Perarivalan alias Arivu, Robert Payas, Jayakumar alias Jayakumar and Ravichandran alias Ravi have been in jail for over 27 years. Political leaders including DMK President M.K. Stalin have welcomed the decision of the Tamil Nadu government. Article 161 grants the Governor power to grant pardon, to suspend, remit or commute sentences of persons convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter where the executive power of the State extends. The Governor is the executive head of the State and will implement and execute the decision taken by the government. There is no time limit prescribed and the Governor can seek the opinion of the Centre or even seek reconsideration of the decision.