Supreme court reserves judgment on Perarivalan's mercy petition

SC questioned the utility of Article 161 if the Governor can't decide on the clemency of a criminal case convict.
Supreme court reserves judgment on Perarivalan's mercy petition
The Supreme Court of India.File photo

CHENNAI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved judgment on plea filed by AG Perarivalan, a convict serving life imprisonment in connection with the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, seeking premature release from jail based on the recommendation made by Tamil Nadu government in September 2018.

The judgment of mercy petition by Perarivalan in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case has been reserved by the Supreme Court. The bench also directed the parties to file written submissions.

During the hearing, the apex court asked the Centre whether it alone has the sweeping powers to decide on mercy pleas under IPC 302. "If so is the mercy granted by Governors in these 75 years invalid?" the bench headed by Justices BR Gavai and Nageshwar Rao questioned.

The bench observed that both the State and Centre are constitutionally empowered to decide on it.

Tamil Nadu has also submitted that Governor's personal bias cannot override a decision the State Assembly has unanimously taken. The top court last week questioned does the Governor has the authority to refer the mercy plea to the President.

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