The Supreme court has today heard the case of Perarivalan, who is currently out on bail in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case but has also filed an appeal in the Supreme Court requesting for his early release
The petition by Perarivalan was heard by a bench that was headed by Supreme Court Judge Nageshwara Rao.
The advocate who appeared on behalf of Tamil Nadu Government was asked by the Supreme Court “why the Tamil Nadu government should not take a decision in this matter and release Perarivalan”
The Supreme Court asked “Why don’t you just agree to have him released? People who are having more than 20 years of imprisonment are released and Perarivalan, has been serving a life sentence and is now on bail, because the President had the authority to take a decision on the mercy plea.
The Supreme Court also said that the argument
“Governor does not have the jurisdiction to take a decision on the mercy plea under Article 161 strikes a blow on the federal structure of the Constitution…”
The prosecutor however replied that as per the Indian Constitution the Governor has to refer matter to the President and so has been the case.
The bench however cross questioned and asked what was the role of the President in deciding on this matter and under which rules the governor has sent the decision to the president?
As per the Supreme Court ruling, the Cabinet has the power to decide on the release of 7 people . If the Governor goes against the cabinet decision it will have a big disadvantage in the federal system.
The Apex Court also said that the state government has the decision-making power in the Perarivalan case and the court thinks that the only solution to end this case is to release Perarivalan.
“If at all the Governor disagrees with the State Cabinet decision to release him, the proper course for him would be to refer it back to the Cabinet and not forward it to the President, who is bound by the aid and advice of the Centre… That cannot simply be done.
We prima facie find the Governor’s action wrong and you are arguing against the Constitution,” Justice L. Nageswara Rao addressed Additional Solicitor-General K.M. Nataraj, appearing for the Centre.
The Supreme Court has decided to hear the matter in totality and the casde has been adjourned to next Tuesday.