ibnlive » India

Apr 30, 2008 at 10:13pm IST

Nalini wants early release from jail

Chennai: Nalini Sriharan, convicted for assassinating former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, wants an early release from jail and has filed an appeal in the Madras High Court.

Just a month after Priyanka Vadra met her, the last surviving member of the assassination squad that killed her father Rajiv, Nalini has appealed to the Madras High Court for an early release.

This is her second appeal as the first one was rejected.

It has been 16 years, nine months and 18 days since she was arrested in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. And in all these years Nalini's story has had frequent contact with the slain leader's family.

In 2000 Sonia Gandhi's public statement on humanitarian grounds meant Nalini's death sentence would be commuted to a life sentence

Eight year's later Priyanka Vadra met Nalini on March 19 in the Vellore Central Prison in Tamil Nadu and over a month after that meeting now Nalini's asking for early release

"I have earned remission of 2404 days or six years, seven months and four days. Since the maximum period of imprisonment is 20 years, deducting my earned remission and considering time already saved I am entitled for premature release," Nalini says in her petition to the High Court.

She also adds, "Since the state government had already consulted with the central government while commuting my life sentence there is no scope for further consultation and the state government is empowered to order my premature release."

"The government has to file a counter. They have to give their reply for our queries and only then will the final decision will be taken," S Duraisamy, Nalini's lawyer, says.

The Karunanidhi government had earlier rejected Nalini's appeal to be considered for release.

But now the big questions is will Priyanka Vadra's visit to Vellore make a difference on how Karunanidhi see Nalini's case.

The Tamil Nadu government will have to answer that question by June 10.

Duraisamy spoke to CNN-IBN and clarified that Nalini request for an early release was not made after meeting Priyanka.

"No madam, it's not correct because her request was rejected in October 2007 and we prepared the repetition on December 31, 2007, itself," Duraisamy said.

When asked that Nalini's appeal has already been rejected once and if released what would be her next plan of action Duraisamy said, "As far as release, she has so many educational qualifications acquired in the jail. She may start for a better career anywhere else. I think she may join as a journalist."

Duraisamy also said that Priyanka writing a book was not discussed.

"No, that was not discussed during the meeting. Priyanka did not say anything like that," he said.