Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has passed on the mercy petition of AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts serving life sentence for assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi , to the President. The MHA informed the Supreme Court on Friday that the proposal received by the Centre "will be processed in accordance with law".

“His Excellency the Governor of Tamil Nadu considered all the facts on record and after perusal of the relevant documents, recorded that the Honourable President of India is the appropriate competent authority to deal with the request for remittance vide his order dated January 25, 2021. The proposal received by the Central government will be processed in accordance with law,” the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Supreme Court in an affidavit on Thursday.

This comes three days after the Centre assured the Supreme Court that the Governor was set to take a call on release of Perarivalan, who was among seven persons convicted by a Special TADA court for the assassination on May 21, 1991.

Perarivalan’s mercy petition has been pending with the Tamil Nadu Governor since December 30, 2015 and the court had taken serious exception to the five-year delay. Finally, on January 21, this year, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that the Governor will decide Perarivalan’s petition within a week.

The Centre's affidavit on Thursday, which came ahead of next week's hearing, informed the court that the President will decide on the mercy petition.

Those convicted with Perarivalan on May 1999 were Nalini Sriharan and Sri Lankan nationals Murugan and Santhan — all sentenced to death. Three others were given life term. Nalini’s death term was commuted to life in 2000, and that of the three others in 2014.