By LE Desk

New Delhi, June 22, 2021: The Supreme Court today adjourned by three weeks the hearing of a plea for bail filed by Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A.G. Perarivalan, who said that the “stalemate” over his release from prison was “completely political”.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari was informed that the petitioner side had circulated a letter for adjournment of the case. Advocate Ashok Panigrahi, appearing for the Union of India, told the court about the adjournment letter. Advocate Joseph Aristotle represented the State of Tamil Nadu in the case, The Hindu reported.

“After sleeping over for five years in the Article 161 (pardon) petition and sitting over the recommendation of the State Cabinet to release the petitioner for more than a good two-and-a-half years, the Union of India, on February 4, has filed an affidavit [in the Supreme Court] stating that Governor has sent the petition to the President, whereas the law is clear that Governor does not have independent discretion,” Perarivalan, represented by advocates Prabu Ramasubramanian and K. Paari Vendhan, has contended in the bail application.

The bail application said Perarivalan had been “under the hangman’s noose for 16 years and 29 years in solitary confinement out of the total 30 years of incarceration”. He has suffered the pain and trauma of the death row syndrome. “The pain was equally felt by his ageing and fragile parents due to the uncertainty between life and death, and hope and despair,” the application said, reported The Hindu.

Perarivalan was allowed parole only twice in 30 years. “There was not a single untoward incident, breach of condition or misconduct during the parole,” the application pointed out.

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