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Posted On : 17 Aug, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
SC to look into conspiracy behind making of bomb in Rajiv case
The Supreme Court today asked the Centre and the CBI to apprise it of the investigation being carried out on the conspiracy aspect behind the making of the bomb that had killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi 26 years ago.

The apex court said it wanted to know about the further investigation which was carried out on this issue after one of the convicts in the assassination case claimed that this aspect was not being probed properly.

"What is the result of the investigation under section 173 on this? We want only this. What is the result of the re- investigation or the further investigation on this? Kindly address us on this," a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said.

The bench said it wanted the Solicitor General or an Additional Solicitor General to apprise it about the status of investigation on this aspect and fixed the matter for hearing on August 23.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by suicide bomber, Dhanu, at an election rally. 14 others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed. This was perhaps the first case of suicide bombing which had claimed the life of a high-profile global leader.

The issue cropped up before the apex court after advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan, appearing for convict A G Perarivalan, told the bench that several aspects, including the conspiracy angle behind the making of bomb, has not been probed properly.

He said besides this aspect, which was directed to be probed by the Justice Jain Commission, there were other issues like missing files concerning security provided to Rajiv Gandhi and the murder of a Delhi-based journalist, Rajinder Kumar Jain, which were not investigated thoroughly.

Shankarnarayanan told the court that Perarivalan was held guilty of supplying the batteries for the belt-bomb worn by suicide bomber Dhanu that had killed Rajiv Gandhi.

He referred to the directions passed by the Jain Commission of Inquiry that had probed the conspiracy aspect of the assassination, as also the status report of the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) which was set up to further investigate the leads thrown up by the probe panel.

The apex court had earlier commuted to life term the death sentence awarded to Perarivalan in the case.

During the hearing when Perarivalan's counsel raked up various other aspects, the bench said it would only go into the issue of conspiracy behind making of the belt bomb.

"Yours (Perarivalan) is a closed chapter. The only way that chapter can be re-opened, if at all, lies in the aspect of conspiracy (behind making of the bomb). We want the Solicitor General or the Additional Solicitor General to address on this issue," the bench said.

Meanwhile, the counsel representing the CBI asked the bench if they could submit a report on this in a sealed cover.

To this, the bench said, "Do what you want to do".

Shankarnarayanan argued that the government had set up Jain Commission in August 1991 to examine the conspiracy angle behind the assassination and the commission, in its report, had said that there were several aspects which needed further detailed investigation.

He said MDMA was set up under the CBI in 1998 and in the same year, the government had tabled its action taken report in Parliament on the Jain panel report.

The apex court was hearing a plea by Perarivalan who has alleged that neither the CBI's special investigation team, nor the MDMA headed by it, had proceeded with the probe in a proper perspective to bring the accused to book, as several top people were involved in it.

The bench had earlier asked the CBI to file a detailed investigation report along with a time-frame within which the probe would be completed and said that the larger conspiracy behind Rajiv Gandhi's assassination has to be investigated.

It had also directed the agency to indicate the legal hurdles, if any, and the steps taken to overcome them.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh had told the court that the investigation was going on and it would take some time as some accused were absconding.

The apex court had also sought the response of the Centre and the CBI on the plea which has alleged that the CBI did not probe the conspiracy behind the killing of Rajiv Gandhi despite an order from a TADA court in Chennai.

The apex court had on February 18, 2014 commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment, along with two other condemned prisoners Santhan and Murugan on grounds of a delay of 11 years in deciding their mercy pleas by the Centre.

Perarivalan had earlier sought case dairies pertaining to the CBI and the MDMA, which had probed the matter.

He had also referred to the inquiry report of the Justice Jain Commission that had probed the conspiracy aspect of the assassination and which had formed the basis for the TADA court's order for a further probe to identify the role of individuals to uncover the larger conspiracy in the murder.

The convict had alleged that the CBI and the MDMA, which were entrusted with the task to probe the facts, have not done their work properly.
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