Chennai, April 27 (IANS) The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a petition for early release filed by S. Nalini, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The court dismissed the petition citing a pending case in the Supreme Court. Nalini had sought premature release as she had completed more than 25 years in jail.
In her petition, she said that under Article 161 of the Constitution the Governor had the power to pardon and release a prisoner. She petitioned the court to order the state government to release her.
Nalini’s petition was opposed by the Tamil Nadu government citing the case pending in the Supreme Court.
Nalini was sentenced to death by a special court for her involvement in Gandhi’s assassination at Sriperumbudur near Chennai on May 21, 1991.
The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after Sonia Gandhi, the former Prime Minister’s widow, sought clemency — for the sake of Nalini’s daughter.
Nalini, an Indian, had accompanied the Sri Lankan woman suicide bomber who blew up Rajiv Gandhi with concealed explosives.
Nalini, who was a close friend of an LTTE operative known as Sriharan alias Murugan, another accused in the case, later gave birth to a girl in prison.