Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday rejected Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict S Nalini Sriharan’s petition seeking a premature release. She is presently serving a life sentence in the Vellore Central Prison.
A division bench of Justices K K Sasidharan and Justice R Subramanian passed the order while noting that the court cannot interfere in the matter since the issue has been already seized of by the Supreme Court.
Nalini was arrested on June 14, 1991 in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May that year at nearby Sriperumbudur.
In 1998, a special court for bomb blast cases at Poonamallee here convicted Nalini and 25 others, and sentenced them to death.
In April 2000, the Tamil Nadu governor commuted the death sentence of Nalini to life sentence on the basis of the state government’s recommendation and an appeal by former Congress president and Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia Gandhi.
Nalini has spent more than 25 years in jail.
Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally.
Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.
Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination was perhaps the first case of suicide bombing which had claimed the life of a high-profile leader.