Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicted in the case of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, was given a one-month parole on Thursday by the Tamil Nadu government, which considered a request from his ailing mother, Padmavathi.
The decision of the state government was revealed by the government adviser before the Madras High Court on Thursday during a hearing of the petition filed by Padmavathi. Invoking age-related reasons, he asked the court to order the state interior minister to grant parole to his daughter. The bench of the division of Judges PN Prakash and R Hemalatha closed the petition following the state’s decision to grant ordinary one-month parole.
This will be Nalini’s second ordinary parole since his arrest in 1991. The previous instance, in July 2019, lasted a month and 20 days.
She will be staying at a Vellore home with her close relatives, including her mother, sister, and brother.
Nalini’s mother, Padmavathi, or Padma, is a retired nurse. Padmavathi and his youngest son, Bhagyanathan, were among those sentenced to death in 1998 along with Nalini and 24 others by a TADA special court.
In 1999, the Supreme Court released most of them, including Padmavathi and Bhagyanathan, while upholding the death sentence of four, including Nalini and her husband, Murugan.
Nalini was also allowed two emergency parolees in the past: one to attend her brother’s wedding and another after the death of her father P Sankara Narayanan in 2016, each a couple of hours away.
Nalini was pregnant when she was arrested in 1991 along with Murugan. Her daughter, Harithra, was born in prison and spent her first four years there.
She was then sent to Coimbatore with a fellow prisoner for early education. Harithra later joined the Murugan family in Sri Lanka and emigrated to the United Kingdom at the height of the Sri Lankan war. He finished his studies and now lives abroad.
Murugan, also known as Sriharan, is a citizen of Sri Lanka. He is housed in Vellore Prison, where he is allowed to meet Nalini once every fortnight.
Nalini’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2001, given the fact that he has a daughter. Murugan’s death sentence was commuted by the Supreme Court in 2014 along with that of three other people, including AG Perarivalan.