Timeline of events in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassinated at a poll rally in Tamil Nadu's Sriperumbudur by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu.
Supreme Court ; Rajiv Gandhi
Supreme Court ; Rajiv GandhiPTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the premature release of the remaining six convicts, including Nalini Sriharan and R P Ravichandran, in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Following is the timeline of events:

-- May 21, 1991: Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassinated at a poll rally in Tamil Nadu's Sriperumbudur by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu.

-- May 24, 1991: Probe handed over to Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

-- June 11, 1991: CBI arrests A G Perarivalan (19), books him under Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).

-- January 28, 1998: TADA court sentences 26 accused, including Perarivalan, to death.

-- May 11, 1999: Supreme Court upholds Perarivalan's conviction and sentence.

-- October 8, 1999: Supreme Court dismisses Perarivalan's review petition.

-- April 2000: Tamil Nadu governor commutes death sentence of Nalini Sriharan on state government's recommendation and an appeal from former Congress president and Rajiv Gandhi's widow, Sonia Gandhi.

-- August 12, 2011: Perarivalan files mercy petition before President under Article 72 of the Constitution, which is rejected. Aggrieved thereby, Perarivalan files writ petition in Madras High Court.

-- May 1, 2012: High court transfers the case to Supreme Court.

-- February 18, 2014: Supreme Court commutes Perarivalan's death sentence to life imprisonment, along with that of two other prisoners -- Santhan and Murugan -- on grounds of 11-year delay in deciding their mercy pleas by Centre.

-- December 30, 2015: Perarivalan files petition under Article 161 of the Constitution for remission of his sentence.

-- September 9, 2018: Tamil Nadu cabinet passes resolution recommending Perarivalan's release, sends it to governor.

-- January 25, 2021: Tamil Nadu governor forwards petition filed by Perarivalan under Article 161, along with recommendation made by Tamil Nadu cabinet, to president.

-- March 9, 2022: Supreme Court releases Perarivalan on bail, taking into account that he had spent more than 31 years in jail.

-- May 18, 2022: Supreme Court orders Perarivalan's release, invoking its extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution.

-- August 12, 2022: Nalini Sriharan and Ravichandran move Supreme Court seeking premature release.

-- September 26, 2022: Supreme Court issues notices to Centre, Tamil Nadu government on plea of Nalini Sriharan and Ravichandran seeking premature release.

-- Nov 11, 2022: SC directs premature release of the six remaining convicts in the case, including Nalini Sriharan and Ravichandran, noting that the Tamil Nadu government has recommended remission of sentence to them.

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