MHA didn’t re­fer T.N.’s re­mis­sion plea to Pres­i­dent

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU -

The let­ter signed, “By or­der and in the name of the Pres­i­dent of In­dia” by V.B. Dubey, Joint Sec­re­tary to MHA, con­cluded that “the Cen­tral Govern­ment, in pur­suance of Sec­tion 435 of the Code of Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure, 1973, does not con­cur with the pro­posal of the Govern­ment of Tamil Nadu con­tained in their com­mu­ni­ca­tion let­ter dated 02.03.2016 for grant of fur­ther re­mis­sion of sen­tences to th­ese seven con­victs."

Ag­grieved over this, Per­ari­valan wrote to Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van seek­ing copies of the files re­lat­ing to his pre­ma­ture re­lease. Re­ply­ing to his RTI query, the Chief Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer (CPIO) said his pe­ti­tion [58720/CTS-VIA/2008 dated 02/03/2016] had not been re­ceived.

Set­ting aside a sub­se­quent ap­peal in which the con­vict stated that the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs had not pro­vided him with the rel­e­vant de­tails, the Pres­i­dent’s of­fice fur­ther clar­i­fied that no in­for­ma­tion was avail­able on record of the Pres­i­dent’s Sec­re­tariat, which could be pro­vided on the sub­ject.

In an RTI re­ply sent last week to Per­ari­valan lodged in Puzhal Cen­tral Prison here, the MHA con­firmed that the re­mis­sion pro­posal was not sent to the Pres­i­dent and a de­ci­sion was taken at the high­est level in the Min­istry.

‘Mis­lead­ing let­ter’

K. Si­vaku­mar, coun­sel for Per­ari­valan, said the MHA let­ter con­vey­ing the Cen­tre’s de­ci­sion on the pro­posal to re­mit the sen­tences of the seven con­victs was mis­lead­ing, since it was signed “By or­der and in the name of the Pres­i­dent”, whereas Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van con­firmed that no such file was re­ceived by the Pres­i­dent’s sec­re­tariat.

“While ex­ec­u­tive de­ci­sions of the Union Govern­ment are taken in the name of the Pres­i­dent, the tem­plate “By or­der and in the name of the Pres­i­dent of In­dia” is rarely used. In the mat­ter pertaining to the re­jec­tion of pre­ma­ture re­lease of the con­victs, the tem­plate has been used to cre­ate an im­pres­sion that the Pres­i­dent had taken the de­ci­sion...but that is con­trary to truth," he said.

No le­gal im­ped­i­ment

Rais­ing ap­pre­hen­sion whether the de­ci­sion not to re­lease the seven con­victs in the Ra­jiv Gandhi as­sas­si­na­tion case was more po­lit­i­cal than le­gal, Mr. Si­vaku­mar sought ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion against those re­spon­si­ble for the con­fu­sion in the MHA.

There was no le­gal im­ped­i­ment for the Tamil Nadu Gov­er­nor to take a de­ci­sion on the re­mis­sion of sen­tences of seven con­victs based on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Cabi­net and as per law, he said.

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