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Supreme Court discontent on 22-year CBI probe in Rajiv assassination

Supreme Court discontent on 22-year CBI probe in Rajiv assassination
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed its discontent on the progress of the CBI probe underway for past 22 years to unearth the larger conspiracy...

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed its discontent on the progress of the CBI probe underway for past 22 years to unearth the larger conspiracy behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

A bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao observed that the latest report filed by the investigating agency is apparently a mirror image of the report filed two years ago.

"What is the progress we want to know?" the court told the CBI. The top court's observation came on an appeal filed by convict A.G. Perarivalan, sentenced to life, seeking to recall the judgment convicting him in the case.

In November 2019, the matter came up for hearing before the apex court, which sought latest status report on the assassination and gave four weeks to CBI-led multi-disciplinary monitoring agency (MDMA), probing the matter, to furnish its report.

The court had earlier agreed to examine whether he can be released on the basis of new evidence, which has come to light - whether the two batteries supplied by him were the ones used in the belt-bomb that killed Gandhi in 1991.

The court was hearing a plea of Perarivalan, who sought deferral of his life sentence in the case citing the incomplete MDMA probe. Perarivalan and three others were initially awarded death sentence, which was later commuted to life term.

Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally. Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for Perarivalan, said the Letters Rogatory (LRs) sent to many countries, were yet to receive a conclusive response since 1998.

Perarivalan in his petition said the only substantial overt act attributed to him was that of supplying two 9-volt batteries, alleged to be used in the improvised explosive device. The court told Perarivalan's lawyer,

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