It came as a rude shock when CBI's investigating officer in the Rajiv gandhi assassination case, V Thiagrajan, filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court admitting that he had omitted crucial information shared by AG Perarivalan (considered to be one of the masterminds behind the incident. The sentence was later changed to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court.
26 years ago, he was sentenced to death by the trial court after it was found that he had sold 2 nine-volt batteries used to make the bomb that was used to kill Rajeev Gandhi. However, according to a report by the Hindustan Times, the officer revealed that he had omitted certain important confessions by the accused. He reportedly had said that he was not aware of the purpose for which the batteries were being bought and came to know about it only after the battery of the bomb came under the scanner.
This comes after Perarivalan who was 19 when he went to jail, filed a petition in the apex court alleging the lack of an effective probe into the "larger conspiracy" behind the assassination of Gandhi. Interrogating the accused under the TADA Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, Thiagarajan said, "Perarivalan expressly stated he was not aware at the time of purchasing the batteries; he had no idea as to what purpose would they be used for."
Thiagarajan, who was then the superintendent of police with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), said that he did not record this statement "because it was an exculpatory system and the purpose of recording his confession would have been lost".
Meanwhile, based on the affidavit, Perarivalam has now sought the suspension of his life sentence. To this, according to a report by Zee News, the apex court has sought the recommendation of the Central government. The division bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Navin Sinha, has sought the response of the government within a span of three days. The next hearing in the matter has been fixed at December 6.
Perarivalam’s fresh application said, "...even after 18 years, the CBI could not conclude its investigation with relation to the IED, its origin and make due to one reason or the other. However, on the other hand, the petitioner herein has already undergone the punishment of 26 years of actual imprisonment and that too 16 years on death row on the main charge of supplying two nine-volt batteries, which was assumed to be used in the IED."
Perarivalan was arrested on June 1, 1991 at Periyar Thidal, Chennai by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers. On August 25 this year, he was granted parole for the first time since his imprisonment in 1991. The parole was granted by the Tamil Nadu government.