30 years imprisonment without knowing what the crime is – Shock about Perarivalan!
There is an article in the Hindu English daily pointing out the injustice done to
Perarivalan from the very beginning. Written by Anup Surendranath and Trisha Chandran.
Its summary is as follows –
In the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the biggest injustice was that government
agencies continued to imprison Perarivalan without knowing for sure what his role was.
Identifying those who were at the center of this murder plot and not
being able to arrest them and sacrificing the lives of the perpetrators
on the margins in this case is truly a fantastic example of the course of state institutions.
The trial court first upheld the charges against Perarivalan
under the Central Intelligence Agency, TADA and the Indian Penal Code.
After various legal battles, only the charge against the
Indian Penal Code was accepted and he was jailed for 30 years.
His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in February 2014.
According to the Indian Witness Law, a confession given to a
police officer is not valid. But in the Tada and Potash Act,
a confession made to a person not under the rank of District Superintendent was accepted.
The CBI’s main weapon was Perarivalan’s confession to
Superintendent of Police V. Thiagarajan that he had bought
two nine-volt car batteries and given them to the main culprit,
and that the battery had been used in the bombing that killed Rajiv Gandhi.
However, in November 2013, Thiagarajan of the Police Department
submitted to the Supreme Court in December 2017 a affidavit
stating that he had not accurately recorded the confession
previously given by Perarivalan.
In it, Thiagarajan had stated that he had left the record of
what Perarivalan had said at the outset that
he did not know what the battery was bought for.
In essence, Perarivalan was convicted of
a false confession written by a police officer.
Details of who / how the bomb used in Rajiv’s
assassination was made are unclear in the CBI investigation.
The Judiciary found the MC Jain Report (Jain Committee Report)
submitted to Parliament in March 1998.
So to deal with such issues, the Multipurpose Monitoring
Agency (MDMA) was formed in December 1998 Developed by CBI.
Its purpose was to investigate the details of the plot to
assassinate Rajiv and the source of the bomb used in the assassination.
For the past two decades the Multi-Purpose Surveillance
Agency has been submitting closed envelope reports to the Tada Court.
But Perarivalan was denied permission to see these.
However, the Multipurpose Surveillance Agency has repeatedly
stated that the perpetrator and his accomplices were not
part of the ongoing investigation. That is, the source of the bomb,
and how it was made, remains unknown at the highest level of the state.
However, without knowing for what purpose the battery was purchased,
Perarivalan continues to be imprisoned for the crime of purchasing the battery.
Despite such a grand conspiracy background, Perarivalan and his mother,
the wonderful mother, continue their relentless
struggle to end Perarivalan’s imprisonment.
However, under Section 161 of the Constitution,
Perarivalan is entitled to an apology from the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
His application for apology has been pending with the governor since 2015.
Meanwhile, the Union government is using the ambiguity as a
tactic to extend Perarivalan’s imprisonment.
The Union government first achieved that the problem
of forgiveness was entirely between the
governor and the superintendent.
But in December 2020, the Union government advanced an argument
in the Supreme Court that was unacceptable under the Constitution.
That is, it said that the power to pardon
Perarivalan rested with the President of India.
The Union government re-submitted its report to the
Supreme Court on January 21 that the governor would
make a decision on the apology within a few days.
This is a shocking violation of constitutional duty.
And the governor, who is obliged to follow the advice
of the state government under the Constitution,
has taken blatant, illegal action to ignore it.
He was 19 years old at the time of his arrest.
Thirty years later, he is still fighting for his release.
In these 30 years, he has completed BCA and MCA degrees at
Indira Gandhi National Open University and various
diploma courses in motorcycle mechanics,
management skills and nutrition.
In his book, A Request from the Gallows,
he stated that the Multipurpose Surveillance
Agency would find that he had nothing to do with the bomb.
He then asks us who can restore his lost life.
We must ask ourselves why Perarivalan is still in prison,
knowing that Perarivalan’s confession has been forged,
that the state agencies themselves admit that they
know nothing about the source of the bomb, and that
Perarivalan has no role in the bomb investigation.
Are we not releasing Perarivalan for fear of acknowledging
our collective failure to successfully
investigate the assassination of the former Prime Minister?