Following is the timeline of events in the case in which the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of A G Perarivalan, who has served over 30 years in jail in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case invoking its extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution.
May 21, 1991: Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassinated at a poll rally in Tamil Nadu's Sriperumbudur by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu.
May 24, 1991: The investigation was handed over to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
June 11, 1991: CBI arrests 19-year-old A G Perarivalan. He was booked under the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).
January 28, 1998: TADA court sentenced 26 accused to death, including Perarivalan.
May 11, 1999: SC upholds conviction and sentence imposed on Perarivalan.
October 8, 1999: SC dismisses Perarivalan's review petition.
April, 2000: Tamil Nadu Governor commutes death sentence of Nalini on the basis of the state government's recommendation and an appeal by former Congress president and Rajiv Gandhi's widow Sonia Gandhi.
August 12, 2011: Perarivalan files mercy petition before the President under Article 72 of the Constitution, which was rejected. Aggrieved thereby, a writ petition was filed in the high court of Madras.
May 1, 2012: The high court transfers the case to SC.
February 18, 2014: SC commutes death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment, along with that of two other prisoners -- Santhan and Murugan -- on the grounds of an 11-year delay in deciding their mercy pleas by the Centre.
December 30, 2015: Perarivalan files petition under Article 161 of the Constitution for remission of his sentence.
September 9, 2018: Tamil Nadu cabinet passes a resolution recommending the release of Perarivalan, which was sent to the Governor.
January 25, 2021: Tamil Nadu Governor forwards the petition filed by Perarivalan under Article 161, along with the recommendation made by the Tamil Nadu cabinet, to the President of India.
March 9, 2022: SC releases Perarivalan on bail, taking into account the fact that he had spent more than 31 years in jail.
May 18, 2022: SC orders release of A G Perarivalan invoking its extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution.