A resolution recommending the release of the seven has been passed over this in the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in the state secretariat on Sunday evening, said fisheries minister D Jayakumar.
“The cabinet urged governor Purohit to use his powers under article 161 of the constitution to release Murugan, Santhan, AG Perarivalan, Nalini, Rober Pious, Ravichandran, and Jayakumar,” he told reporters in the secretariat premises. Article 161, dealing with the judicial powers of a state’s governor, gives him the power to pardon a convict or to suspend, remit or commute sentences.
The minister also said that a copy of a resolution passed in the cabinet meeting will be sent to the governor immediately.
The development came after the Supreme Court’s direction on last week to the Tamil Nadu governor to take a decision in the release of these seven convicts on a petition filed by AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts.
“The governor is bound to go by the decision taken in the cabinet meeting… since article 161 is dealing with state’s power, we believe that the governor will endorse the decision of the cabinet,” Jayakumar added.
A cabinet meeting in 2014, chaired by then chief minister J Jayalalithaa, had also urged the Union government to release the seven convicts who are in prison for more than 27 years. However, the Centre opposed the release.
Reacting to the state government’s decision, Perarivalan’s mother Arputham Ammal, who had met CM Palaniswami at his residence, thanked him for the move.
“I have been waiting for 27 years for the release of my son. Even our former CM Jayalalithaa was interested to release my son. I believe that the current government has taken proper steps to release my son. I never will forget the CM’s decision. I request the governor to take appropriate steps for releasing my son,” she told HT.
MK Stalin, president of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, urged the governor to issue an order releasing the seven convicts.
Gandhi, 46, was killed on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally.