The first bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday deleted a portion of its June 17 order relating to Advocate-General R Shanmugasundaram’s submissions in Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini Sriharan’s petition seeking premature release without the consent of the Tamil Nadu Governor.
The bench of Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice N Mala, deleted this portion of its judgment delivered on June 17.
The HC had then held the writ plea of Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in the case and serving life term (presently on parole) to order her premature release without the consent of the State Governor, was not maintainable
The bench was conceding the plea of the the Joint Secretary of the State Home department, seeking modification of
the June 17 order by deleting certain observations in paragraph Nos.11, 13 and 21, insofar as it related to the observations of the petitioner’s contention that the mercy petition filed by Nalini was rightly referred by the then
Governor to the President of India. Petitioner said that such a submission was not made on behalf of the Home department and the same seems to have been inadvertently recorded in the order.
The issue squarely fell within the ambit of Article 161 of the Constitution and the same is in the exclusive domain of the State government. Hence, it is the Governor who can exercise the power to remit the sentence of life imprisonment based on the resolution passed in the Cabinet Meeting held on September 9, 2018. It appears that certain observations regarding the contention of the petitioners herein have been inadvertently recorded to the effect that the reference made by the Governor to the President, is correct, the petition added.
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Since these inadvertent observations recorded in the said order do not reflect the correct contentions put forth on behalf of the petitioners before this Court, the same, in the interest of justice, may be removed/deleted, the petition said.