Rajiv Gandhi case: HC allows Nalini to appear in person to argue on plea for leave

The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted permission to Nalini Sriharan, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, to appear in person on July 5 and argue on her plea for six months ordinary leave to make arrangements for her daughter's wedding.

A division bench of Justice M.M Sundaresh and Justice M. Nirmal Kumar gave her permission to appear in person on July 5 at 2.15 pm to argue her case.

Nalini, who has been in prison for over 27 years, wanted the court to direct the superintendent of police, Special Prison for Women in Vellore, to produce her before the court so that she could argue her case for leave as party-in-person.

The court had on June 11 observed that the right of Nalini to appear in person to argue on her plea cannot be denied.

According to Nalini, a life convict is entitled to one-month leave once in two years and since she had never availed such ordinary leave for more than 27 years, she made a representation to prison authorities on February 25 seeking six-month leave to make arrangement for her daughter's marriage.

Subsequently, Nalini's mother also made a similar representation on March 22. As the authorities failed to consider her representation, she moved the high court.

Nalini was initially sentenced to death for her involvement in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. However, her death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Tamil Nadu government on April 24, 2000.

She claimed that after commutation of her death sentence, around 3,700 life convicts, who had served 10 years of imprisonment and less, were released by the Tamil Nadu government.