CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered expeditious trial of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict, Murugan alias Sriharan, in a case related to obscene behaviour in jail. A criminal case was registered against Murugan for allegedly having stood naked before the jail officials and making obscene gestures when some items including a packet of vallarai, some dry leaves, and Tulsi leaves were confiscated from his cell in Vellore central jail on December 9, 2020.
A bench of Justice N. Satishkumar passed the order while hearing the petition filed by Murugan to quash the FIR registered at Bagyam police station, Vellore against him. Additional Public Prosecutor, Tilak Raj told the court that the investigation in the case has been completed and that a charge sheet has been filed before the magistrate. The judge then disposed the matter with a direction to expedite the trial.
Vellore Central Jail's Jailor J. Mohankumar, in his complaint before the Bagayam police station, stated that a guard who was on duty in the high-security zone of the prison had witnessed a convict passing on some packet to Murugan on December 9, 2020. He said that immediately a team of officials including a woman jail officer went to his cell along with video camera.
Murugan, according to the complaint, stripped naked before the jail staff, including the woman, made obscene gestures before the camera. The jailor also said that the leaves were seen on the floor of the cell and Murugan said that they were for pooja purposes.
The complainant said that he used filthy language against the jail staff including the woman jail staff and also threw his clothes, water can, broomstick and soap at the prison guards and prevented them from performing their duties.
Murugan, in his petition for quashing the FIR, denied all the allegations and said that he was a Sri Lankan Tamil who had come to Tamil Nadu in 1990 for pursuing higher education. He said that after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi he was implicated as an accused and arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on July 14, 1991.
He argued that after his death sentence was commuted by the Supreme Court on February 18, 2014, a 2018 Tamil Nadu state cabinet recommendation to release all the surviving convicts in the assassination case was now pending before the President.