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Nagpur: The Supreme Court in a landmark verdict ordered release of AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The top court passed the order considering his good conduct in jail, medical condition and educational qualifications acquired while in custody. Perarivalan has been behind bars since the last 31 years and will be released now as per the SC verdict.

The verdict could pave the way for the release of other six convicts in the case, including Nalini Sriharan and her husband Mruguan, a Sri Lankan national. Judges led by Justice L Nageswara Rao said, “State cabinet had taken its decision based on relevant considerations. In exercise of Article 142, it is appropriate to release the convict.”

19-year-old Perarivalan was then accused if buying two 9-volt batteries for Sivarasan, mastermind behind the assassination. Perarivalan was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in 1998. In 1999, the Supreme Court upheld the sentence but committed it to life imprisonment in 2014. The top court had granted him bail in March this year. Shortly after that he appealed seeking an early release from jail.

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