Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: Madras HC Order for Convict Murugan’s Appointment with Sri Lankan High Commission

Rajiv Gandhi Assassination

The Madras High Court has directed the Tiruchirappalli District Collector to arrange an appointment with the Sri Lankan High Commission for Murugan, a former convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, within a day or two for him to obtain a travel document.

Sriharan, also known as Murugan, is a Sri Lankan national. His wife, along with another former convict in the case, Nalini, approached the court seeking permission for him to appear before the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai to acquire a passport for leaving the country.

Murugan, along with six others in the case, was released by the Supreme Court in November 2022 after serving three decades in prison. Following his release, he has been housed in a special camp in Tiruchirappalli.

A division bench consisting of Justices R Suresh Kumar and Kumaresh Babu issued the directive based on a petition filed by Nalini. The petition sought direction for authorities to allow her husband to visit the Sri Lankan High Commission in Chennai between 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM on any working day with an escort to obtain an “all country passport.” They intended to relocate to the UK to be with their daughter.

The bench noted the counsel’s contention that the Sri Lankan High Commission might not grant appointments to individuals like the petitioner’s husband for passport-related matters during certain hours. Instead, they suggested visiting the office between 11 AM and 1:30 PM on any working day.

In consideration of this, the bench emphasized the need for the Tiruchirappalli District Collector to coordinate efforts to bring Murugan to the High Commission with appropriate escort for consular procedures.

To avoid complications, the bench recommended the Collector to arrange an appointment with the Sri Lankan High Commission in Chennai. The Collector was instructed to explore the possibility of securing an appointment within a day or two and report the progress to the court by March 12, 2024.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte