The Centre today filed a report in the Supreme Court on the investigation being carried out on the conspiracy aspect behind the making of the bomb that had killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi 26 years ago. The report was filed in a sealed cover before a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha, which fixed the matter for hearing on September 19. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh told the bench that they have filed a note as per the apex court’s direction and it cannot be given to the petitioner. “We have gone through the note,” the bench said.
Advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan, appearing for convict A G Perarivalan, contended that he had not said that the report should be given to him, but if the court permits, he would peruse the Centre’s report in the court itself. The bench said it would hear the matter next Tuesday. The apex court had on August 17 asked the Centre and the CBI to apprise it of the probe being carried out on the conspiracy aspect behind the making of bomb after Perarivalan had claimed that this aspect was not being probed properly.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed. This was perhaps the first case of suicide bombing which had claimed the life of a high-profile global leader. Perarivalan’s counsel had earlier told the court that several aspects, including the conspiracy angle behind making of the bomb, has not been probed properly.
He had said besides this aspect, which was directed to be probed by the Justice Jain Commission, there were other issues like missing files concerning security provided to Rajiv Gandhi and the murder of a Delhi-based journalist, Rajinder Kumar Jain, which were not investigated thoroughly. The counsel had told the court that Perarivalan was held guilty of supplying the batteries for the belt-bomb worn by Dhanu that had killed Rajiv Gandhi.
The apex court had earlier commuted to life term the death sentence awarded to Perarivalan in the case. His counsel had argued that the government had set up the Jain Commission in August 1991 to examine the conspiracy angle behind the assassination. The commission, in its report, had recommended that there were several aspects which needed further detailed investigation.
The apex court was hearing a plea by Perarivalan, who has alleged that neither the CBI’s special investigation team, nor Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) headed by it, had proceeded with the probe in a proper perspective to bring the accused to book, as several top people were involved in it. The bench had earlier asked the CBI to file a detailed investigation report along with a time-frame within which the probe would be completed and said that the larger conspiracy behind Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination has to be investigated.
The apex court had also sought the response of the Centre and the CBI on the plea which has alleged that investigating agency did not probe the conspiracy behind the killing of Rajiv Gandhi despite an order from a TADA court in Chennai. The apex court had on February 18, 2014 commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment, along with two other condemned prisoners — Santhan and Murugan — on grounds of a delay of 11 years in deciding their mercy pleas by the Centre.