The Madras high court on Tuesday granted one-day conditional parole to Nalini Sriharan, serving life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, for attending the 16th day obsequies (post-death) of her father.
Justice R Mala directed Nalini not to give any interview to anybody and said she should be confined to the house where the obsequies are performed on Wednesday.
It may be recalled Nalini had interacted with a section of the media while she was on a 12-hour parole on February 24 last to attend the cremation of her father.
Passing orders on Nalini’s petition seeking three days leave, the judge granted her 24-hour parole starting from 4 pm on Tuesday to 4 PM on Wednesday.
Nalini had moved the court seeking leave from Tuesday for attending the obsequies of her father who passed away last month.
In her petition, Nalini had submitted she had made a representation on March 2 to the Superintendent of Special Prison for Women in Vellore, where she is lodged, seeking three days leave but the official had not responded. When the matter came up on Tuesday, the state government advocate opposed parole.
The judge, however, granted the one-day parole.
“It is true that there is no provision for granting emergency leave to attend the 16th day obsequies. However, in Hindu custom, the presence of the daughters are necessary for performing 16th day obsequies.
“Since the petitioner is the daughter of the deceased Sankaranarayanan, the presence of the petitioner is necessary to do the last respects to her father,” the judge said.
She made it clear that the prison superintendent should make all effective arrangements for escorting Nalini free of cost as per rules.
Nalini shall stay at her residence during night hours and there should be sufficient escort round the clock till she was brought back to the prison, Justice Mala said.
It was the responsibility of the superintendent of prison to bring Nalini back to the jail, the judge said and posted the matter to March 10 for reporting compliance.
Nalini was sentenced to death by the trial court in the case on January 28, 1998. Her sentence was commuted to life term by the Tamil Nadu Governor on April 24, 2000.