It has been 27 years since India's then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. His assassins are serving life terms in jail. One of the prime accused, Nalini, is still serving the jail term even after 26 years of the fateful incident.
The Madras High Court dismissed the plea made by convict Nalini Sriharan to let her off. They stated that she cannot be let out prematurely. Justice R Subramanian gave his verdict and said that the court cannot interfere in this matter as the verdict of life sentence was already given by the Supreme Court.
Following the suicide bombing and brutal killing of Rajiv Gandhi by the members associated with the LTTE, the trial was conducted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA). The TADA court in Chennai awarded death sentences to all the 26 accused on January 28, 1998. This shocked the country and an appeal was made in the Supreme Court, which gave a verdict of death sentences to four and various jail terms for others, depending on their association with the LTTE and the murderers of Rajiv Gandhi.
Nalini, one of the four prime convicts of the case was awarded death sentence on May 11 in 1999. She is the lone survivor among the five (one named Dhanu blew herself as part of suicide bombing) who executed the murder plot.
Now, after 19 years of the death sentence, the son of then PM Rajiv Gandhi Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka also have said that they have completely forgiven Nalini.
But what the court concerns itself with is the legality of the case and not somebody's emotions. Considering the fact that the representative of the nation was killed, letting the convict out would become an example for other cases. Nalini serving the sentence till her death inside the jail looks fine.
But when considered from a more humane angle, Nalini herself has expressed remorse and has served more than 20 years in jail. Especially when the family of Rajiv Gandhi have forgiven her, Nalini could be released.