The Madras High Court on Friday refused to direct the Tamil Nadu government to release Nalini and Ravichandran, who were convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, without the Governor’s assent.
The order was passed by the first bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N. Mala dismissing the pleas moved by Nalini and Ravichandran.
While passing the order, the bench said that the high court does not enjoy special powers that the Supreme Court has under Article 142 of the constitution.
Nalini and Ravichandran in their pray before the High Court said that they were justified in seeking the relief as Supreme Court has categorically said that the governor is bound by the recommendations of the state cabinet in Perarivalan case, who was released by the Supreme Court on May 18, 2022.
The petitioners said that they were seeking a direction to the state government to release them without waiting for the assent of the Tamil Nadu governor.
Representing the state of Tamil Nadu, Advocate General R. Shanmughasundaram submitted before the first bench that the Supreme court had, while explaining the powers of a governor in the judgment, clearly said that the assent of the governor was a must. He, however, said that the high court has powers to consider the issue.
Notably, Murugan alias Sriharan, Nalini wife of Murugan, Santhan, Robert Pious, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, and Perarivalan were the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case of May 21, 1991. Of this, Perarivalan was released by the Supreme Court on May 18, 2022 and following the release of Perarivalan, Nalini and Ravichandran have moved the Madras High Court to release them without the assent of the Governor which was rejected by the first bench of the court.