Eight months after the death of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief V Prabhakaran, the proclaimed offender in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the Central Bureau of Investigation is yet to receive his death certificate from Sri Lankan authorities.
According to information accessed under the Right to Information Act, CBI said it was still awaiting the certificate of Prabhakaran's death from the Lankan authorities. The agency, in reply to an RTI query, said investigation in the case is "still in progress".
Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991 during an election rally. In reply to the RTI query, B N Mishra, Superintendent of Police at the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (under the CBI to investigate the case) said, "The matter is regularly being pursued through the diplomatic channel."
"Immediately after coming to know about the death of Prabhakaran, the proclaimed offender in the case, CBI has taken up the matter with authorities concerned in Sri Lanka through diplomatic channels for supplying an authenticated copy of his death certificate, which is still awaited," the reply read.
The CBI said "both the governments are regularly in touch with each other for expediting enquiries into certain aspects of the case pending with the government of Sri Lanka."
Exercising his right to information, an applicant had asked for information about the final status of the assassination case among other details.
In reply, the agency said, "The MDMA has been conducting further investigation in RC 9 (S)/1991-SCB/MAS (Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case) after obtaining necessary permission from the designated TADA Court, Chennai u/s 173 (B) CrPC. Further investigation is still in progress."
On being asked about the status of culprits, it said "The TADA court, vide its judgment dated January 28, 1998, awarded death penalty to all 26 accused. On appeals made by the convicts, the Supreme Court, vide its judgment dated May 11, 1999 confirmed death penalty of four, namely, Nalini, T Suthentharajan alias Santha, V Sriharan alias Murugan alias Thas alias Thas alias Indi Master and G Perarivalan alias Arivu".
"On mercy petitions filed by Nalini, her death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Governor of Tamil Nadu in 2004. The mercy petitions of remaining three death convicts are still under consideration with the President of India," it said.
The CBI said, out of the four life convicts, -- Nalini, B Robert Payas and S Jayakumar -- and three death convicts T Suthentharaja, V Sriharan and G Perarivalan are lodged in Vellore Jail.
"The remaining one convict, namely, P Ravi Chandra alias Ravi alias Pragasam is lodged in Madurai Jail," it said in reply to the RTI application.