Indian State and the Art of Fabricating False Cases
Perarivalan is a death convict on the Rajiv Gandhi murder case and has been detained in the isolated prison cell for more than 20 years without a chance of Parole. He was arrested at 19 and is now 40, having lost the prime period of himself, and having witnessed the dreadful plight of his aging parents. He is cursed with the fate of waking up every morning, anticipating the day of death, for the past 20 years.
“Death Penalty is nothing but a judicially sanctioned murder, executed on a planned date and time.” says Former Justice of Supreme Court V.R.Krishna Iyer.
If such is the strong notion on death penalty for committed crimes, What would be it for “Death Penalty for an innocent” asks Perarivalan. He also presents his case very clearly, that would make any counsel skeptical of the way his case is tried.
My intention of this briefing is not to justify the killing of Rajiv Gandhi, but to emphasize that justice is denied on my case and to reiterate that I am no way connected to this conspiracy; and those convicted with me do not deserve a death penalty in any measure.
The reason for my conviction was told that, I helped in the assembly of the “Belt-bomb” which killed Rajiv Gandhi. But the Senior CBI officer Mr.Ragothaman has quoted in his recent book “Rajiv’s assassination case” and on interviews that “the puzzle behind the assembler of the “Belt-Bomb” is still unresolved by the CBI. So, Am I not exploited by CBI to fill an unanswered question?
The CBI argued that I assembled the Bomb, since I bought a 9V Cell. Moreover my diploma in Electronics and Communications, helped them cook a story, and spread it across the media. But they have not established anywhere that the 9V cell used in the Bomb was the same one that I bought.
But the fact remains that I had never bought that 9V cell, and I had never given that to anybody. But the CBI proved that I did indeed, by proving that they found a receipt for 9V cell in my shirt pocket.
I leave it to your common sense and conscience, whether any petty store in Chennai 20 years back gives a receipt for Cells; and if I am a culprit will I keep that receipt in possession??
After being given death sentence by the special court, my appeal went to the Supreme Court and it upheld my death sentence. But on its verdict, it clearly states that this was not an act of terrorism and the killers had no intention of killing anybody other than Rajiv Gandhi and the killer herself. Having said that, the trial court proceedings on the TADA guidelines was also questioned by the Supreme Court, and was ruled as inappropriate.
But my conviction was mostly based on the so called “confession statement” given by me under TADA act. When TADA act was ruled inappropriate for this case by the Supreme Court, how come my “Confession Statement” drawn under TADA act, under police custody, was accepted by Supreme Court, and formed basis for my death penalty??
You know how confession statement are taken if interrogating officers are provided with unlimited powers as in TADA act. I experienced that with extreme torture and extortion and mine was signed with blood. As a general practice Courts doesn’t give too much weightage on the Confession statements, but that was broken in my case with haste.
Moreover, I have to quote about Mr.Thyagarajan, who allegedly recorded my confession statement. In 1993, at Kottayam, Kerala a Nun called sister Abhaya was raped and murdered. The investigating officer there was Mr.Thomas Vargheese. This officer Mr.Thomas Vargheese was troubled so much that he went to the press and stated that he is resigning the job. The reason quoted by him was that Mr.Thyagarajan was putting too much pressure on him to close the case as a suicide. Mr.Thyagarajan’s credibility was questioned and condemned by the Court.
Why should the confession statement drawn by the same Mr.Thyagarajan be true in my case??
Because my case was investigated under now repealed TADA act, several of my basic and legal rights were denied and my side of truth was buried deep under their prejudice.
If the case was tried in a district court, I would have had the opportunity of going to high court and the Supreme Court. This practice has helped rendering the right justice in many cases in India. But I was wrongfully denied the justice of high court, since mine was tried at an inappropriate Special Court under TADA act.
This could be the first time in the world, where a Court convicts 26 human beings with the rarest of rare death penalty. But thanks to the Supreme Court, 22 of them were relieved of their death sentence. One could imagine the one-sided bias of the Special court and its prejudice, in the way it sentenced the 26 convicts. If I do get a fair trial once again, I am very confident that I can prove my innocence. But as our criminal law, unlike foreign countries doesn’t allow a re-tria,l I am left at the mercy of our honorable President of India.
I do not know if I will be walked to the gallows, while I helplessly keep shouting about my innocence !!
Mrs.Sonia Gandhi had written to the President long back, that herself or her family does not intend, or want the executions of those convicted on this case. But we still do not understand the reason behind these 20 years of imprisonment under the shadow of death.
More than being afraid of death, I am hesitant leaving this world as a culprit with false accusations, and leaving behind my parents as parents of a murderer, while I am really not..
Those were really disturbing words of Mr.A.G Perarivalan that made us pay more attention and understand the wrath of a denied justice. We also observed the following facts on this case.
On a petition filed for release of certain Srilankan refugees in the year May 2005 from Chengleput special camp, the CBI has filed affidavit stating that they were closely involved in Rajiv’s assassination, and they cannot afford to lose track on them, and so cannot release them.
The CBI still seems to be investigating this case, and filing reports in a sealed cover continuously to the TADA Special court, even now.
The other two convicts Murugan and Santhan have undergone similar inappropriate trials and were sentenced to death as well, and are undergoing gross human rights abuse.
Nalini, another convict sentenced to death was given mercy by the Governor of Tamilnadu on the grounds that the convict is a female and a mother of a child. This is again a gross contradiction where one party gets a mercy and all others sentenced to death, having accused of the same levels of crime.
The lingering thought now is; What if one day, those sealed covers are opened, and what if the truth about their innocence is revealed after they are ruthlessly murdered by our republic of INDIA?? Won’t you take moral responsibility for a decision of an elected government??
What are we going to do to save such Perarivalans??