31 August 2011

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Full Report Chronology Time Line – Rajiv Gandhi Murder Trial -Part Two

Full Report Chronology Time Line – Rajiv Gandhi Murder Trial -Part Two
A timeline chronology of events from the day of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination up to the judgment of the case.

May 21, 1991:
Tamil Nadu –
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, by belt-bomb assassin Dhanu who belonged to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

A day after the murder of Gandhi a forensic expert, Professor P Chandrasekharan, disclosed that the killer was a woman who had acted as a human bomb by wearing a denim belt loaded with RDX - Research Department Explosive, and thousands of 2 mm steel pallets.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. 17 others also lost their lives, including Dhanu (the alleged woman assassin) and Hari Babu (the freelance photographer).

The names of other 15 are as follows:
P.K.Gupta (personal security officer to Rajiv Gandhi),
Latha Kannan, Kokilavani, Iqbal (superintendent of police),
Rajakuru (inspector of police),
Edward Joseph (inspector of police),
Ethiraj (sub-inspector of police),
Sundaraju Pillai (police constable),
Ravi (commando police constable),
Dharman (police constable), Chandra (woman police constable),
Santhani Begum, Darryl Peter, Kumari Saroja Devi and Munuswamy.

May 22, 1991:
State police registers case and recovers the camera which films the assassination and other evidences from the scene.

May 24, 1991:
The CBI forms the Special Investigation Team under D R Karthikeyan, the senior Central Bureau of Investigation officer
Judge S M Siddick appointed judge of the designated court to try the case.

May 25, 1991:
Sivarasan, stand by assassin Subha, Nalini and two others visit Tirupati, worship and return the next day.

May 27, 1991:
Verma Commission (Justice J.S.Verma) was set up to inquire,
“(a) whether the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi could have been averted and whether there were lapses or dereliction of duty in this regard on the part of any of the individuals responsible for his security;

(b) the deficiencies, if any, in the security system and arrangements as prescribed or operated in practice which might have contributed to the assassination.”

June 11, 1991:
Bhagyanathan and Padma arrested.

June 14, 1991:
Nalini, the first accused, and her husband Murugan arrested.

June 28, 1991:
Sivarasan, Subha and others escape in an empty tanker from Madras to Bangalore. They reach Bangalore the next day.

Aug.20, 1991: Prime suspects Sivarasan, alleged substitute assassin Subha and five other accomplices ‘committed suicide’ in Bangalore. Thus, nine (including the alleged assassin Dhanu, photographer Hari Babu) who were alleged to have links with the Rajiv assassination had died.

Aug.23, 1991:
Jain Commission (Justice M.C.Jain) was set up to inquire,
“(a) the sequence of events leading to, and all the facts and circumstances relating to, the assassination of Mr.Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur (other than the matters covered by the terms of reference for the Commission headed by Justice Verma)”

and (b) “whether one person or persons or agencies were responsible for conceiving, preparing and planning the assassination and whether there was any conspiracy in this behalf and, if so, all its ramifications.”

August 29, 1991:
Rangan, the last accused in the case, arrested.

May 20, 1992:
SIT - Special Investigation Team files chargesheet before the designated court.
SIT of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a 449-page charge sheet (Final Report) before the Designated Court in Madras, naming 41 persons as the accused. 26 among the 41 were Sri Lankan nationals. Pirabhakaran was listed as the first accused. Pottu Amman @ Shanmuganathan Sivasankaran was listed as the second accused. Akila @ Akilakka was listed as the third accused. [@ refers to ‘alias’.]
The designated court Judge S.M.Siddick passed an order that none of the proceedings should be published; even the names and addresses of the coded witnesses were not allowed to be published.

June 12, 1992:
Verma Commission submitted its findings to the then Home Minister of India.

Aug.12, 1992:
Tamil Nadu Special Investigation Team (TANSIT) filed a 12-page charge sheet (with 250 pages of supporting documents) in Padmanabha murder case, before the Designated Court on 26 accused. Pottu Amman was listed as the first accused. Accused 1 to Accused 17 were charged under criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder etc.

According to P.C.Pant, the Inspector General of Police, TANSIT, “there was no evidence to connect the involvement of the LTTE supreme Prabhakaran in this case and hence he had not been cited as an accused.” [Hindu, International Edition, Aug.22, 1992]

May 5, 1993 –
Pre-trial begins in the high security prison at suburban Poonamallee.
The pre-trial proceedings, that is, arguments by the prosecution and defence lawyers, began before the Designated Judge on May 5, 1993.

Pre-trial proceedings (arguments by the prosecution and defence lawyers) for the assassination trial began at the Designated Court, at the high-security Poonamallee Court complex. P.Rajamanickam, the special public prosecutor who represented the SIT, narrated the facts of the case. Of the 41 charged by the SIT in May 20, 1992, three (Pirabhakaran, Pottu Amman and Akila) were designated as ‘absconding accused’. Twelve who had died among the 41 charged were designated as ‘deceased accused’. These were, S.Packiachandran @ Raghuvaran @ Sivarasan, Dhanu @ Anbu @ Kalaivani, Subha @ Nithya, S.Haribabu, Nehru @ Nero @ Gokul, N.Shanmugam @ Jayaraj, Trichy Santhan @ Gundu Santhan, Suresh Master, Dixon @ Kishore, Amman @ Gangai Kumar, Drive Anna @ Keerthy and Jamuna @ Jameela. The designated court judge S.M.Siddick listened to the prosecution case, in the presence of all the remaining 26 ‘available accused’.

November 2, 1993:
Pre-trial proceedings end.

November 24, 1993:
The court framed charges against the 26 accused on November 24, 1993.
The Designated Court framed charges against the 26 accused. These proceedings were allowed to be covered by two news agencies – the Press Trust of India and the United News of India. The 26 accused who faced the trial were as follows:

Accused 1: S.Nalini (the only one who was present at the scene of the crime); Indian; arrested on June 14, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Aug.9, 1991.

Accused 2: T.Suthendraraja @ Santhan; Sri Lankan; arrested on July 22, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Sept.17, 1991.

Accused 3: Sriharan @ Murugan @ Thas @ Indu Master; Sri Lankan; arrested on June 14, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Aug.8, 1991.

Accused 4: Shankar @ Koneswaran; Sri Lankan; arrested on May 19, 1992; no confession.

Accused 5: D.Vijayanandan @ Hari Ayya; Sri Lankan; arrested on May 16, 1992; no confession.

Accused 6: Sivaruban @ Suresh @ Suresh Kumar @ Ruban; Sri Lankan; arrested on May 16, 1992; no confession.

Accused 7: S.Kanagasabapathy @ Radhayya; Sri Lankan; arrested on July 4, 1991; no confession.

Accused 8: A.Chandralekha @ Athirai @ Sonia @ Gowri; Sri Lankan; arrested on July 5, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Aug.29, 1991.

Accused 9: B.Robert Payas @ Kumaralingam; Sri Lankan; arrested on June 18, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Aug.15, 1991.

Accused 10: S.Jayakumar @ Jayakumaran @ Jayam; Sri Lankan; June 26, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Aug.22, 1991.

Accused 11: J.Shanthi; Indian; arrested on May 16, 1992; no confession.

Accused 12: S.Vijayan @ Perumal Vijayan; Sri Lankan; arrested on July 8, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Sept.4, 1991.

Accused 13: V.Selvaluxmi; Indian; arrested on May 16, 1992; no confession.

Accused 14: S.Bhaskaran @ Velayudam; Indian; arrested on July 8, 1991; no confession.

Accused 15: S.Shanmugavadivelu @ Thambi Anna; Sri Lankan; arrested on May 16, 1992; confessional statement recorded on May 17, 1992.

Accused 16: P.Ravichandran @ Ravi @ Pragasam; Indian; arrested on Jan.6, 1992; confessional statement recorded on Feb.14, 1992.

Accused 17: M.Suseendran @ Mahesh; Indian; arrested on Jan.6, 1992; confessional statement recorded on Feb.14, 1992.

Accused 18: G.Perarivalan @ Arivu; Indian; arrested on June 19, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Aug.15, 1991.

Accused 19: S.Irumborai @ Duraisingam; Indian; arrested on Oct.9, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Dec.3, 1991.

Accused 20: S.Bhagyanathan; Indian; arrested on June 11, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Aug.5, 1991.

Accused 21: S.Padma; Indian; arrested on June 11, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Aug.7, 1991.
Accused 22: A.Sundaram @ Subha Sundaram; Indian; arrested on July 2, 1991; no confession.

Accused 23: K.Dhanasekaran @ Raju; Indian; arrested on Oct.13, 1991; confessional satement recorded on Nov.4, 1991.

Accused 24: N.Rajasuriya @ Rangan; Sri Lankan; arrested on Aug.28, 1991; confessional statement recorded on Oct.23, 1991.

Accused 25: T.Vigneswaran @ Vicky; Sri Lankan; arrested on Feb.4, 1992; confessional statement recorded on Feb.24, 1992.

Accused 26: J.Ranganath; Indian; arrested on Aug.28, 1991; no confession.

January 19, 1994:
The trial, which started on January 19, 1994 with the examination of the witnesses, was held in camera.
The assassination trial began, with the examination of the witnesses. Proceedings were conducted in camera.
Other notable statistics include: citation of 1,044 prosecution witnesses, examination of 288 prosecution witnesses, presentation of 1,477 documents by the prosecution amounting to almost 10,000 pages, presentation of 74 documents by the defence, presentation of 1,180 material objects by the prosecution.

May 29, 1994:
LTTE chief Vellupillai Prabhakaran, intelligence chief Pottu Amman and women's wing leader Akila declared as proclaimed offenders.

June 3, 1994:
Government of India sends requisitions to Sri Lankan government seeking extradition of Prabhakaran, Pottu Amman and Akila.

December 30, 1996:
V Navaneetham takes over as judge after Judge Siddickk is appointed a judge of the Madras high court.

May 5, 1997: Examination of 288 prosecution witnesses completed.

June 21, 1997:
Questioning of the accused based on the deposition of the witnesses.

July 21, 1997:
Prosecution begins summing up of the case and ends it on August 11, 1997.

Aug. 1997: The Jain Commission submitted its Interim Report, consisting of 17 volumes, to the then Home Minister Indrajit Gupta. According to Prabhu Chawla of India Today (Nov.17, 1997), this interim report was 5,280 pages long, comprising of 8 volumes of interim findings, and 9 volumes of annexures. The report carried the testimonies of 110 witnesses.

August 14, 1997:
Presentation of defence case begins and ends on November 5, 1997.

November 5, 1997:
The trial, which started on January 19, 1994 with the examination of the witnesses, was held in camera. Of the 1,044 witnesses cited, 288 were examined. The prosecution produced 1,477 documents, which ran to about 10,000 pages. It also produced 1,180 objects of evidence in order to buttress its case. The defence produced 74 documents. The arguments concluded on November 5, 1997.

Nov.8, 1997:
Designated Court II judge Arumuga Perumal Adithan, acquitted 15 of the 17 accused in the Padmanabha murder case, since the prosecution had “not proved beyond any reasonable doubt” the allegations against them. Chinna Santhan was declared guilty for advising, abetting and facilitating the crime. Anandaraj was found guilty for harboring Gundu Santhan, one of the accused in the case. [as reported in the Frontline magazine, Nov.15-28, 1997]

January 28, 1998 -
On January 28, 1998, the judge of the Designated Court-1, V. Navaneetham, convicted and sentenced all the 26 accused to death.
Designated Trial Court Judge V.Navaneetham (who had replaced Judge S.M.Siddick) delivered the judgment, convicting and sentencing all the 26 accused, who stood for trial, to death.

According to the Indian Express of Feb.5, 1998, the judge delivered a 1,600 page verdict, which contained 10 pages of transcripts of messages exchanged between LTTE stations, primarily between March 22, 1991 and June 23, 1991.

Mar.7, 1998:
The Jain Commission submitted its Final Report, consisting of 2,000 pages.

Mar.27, 1998:
The Supreme Court stayed till ‘further orders’ death sentences of the 26 accused which have been imposed by the Designated Trial Court judge.

The Supreme Court consisting of three judges (Justice K.T.Thomas, Justice D.P.Wadhwa and Justice S.S.M.Quadri) began final hearing on appeals filed by all 26 accused, sentenced to death by judge V.Navaneetham.

May 11, 1999:
Three judge bench of the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence on Nalini (Accused 1), Santhan (Accused 2), Murugan (Accused 3) and Perarivalan (Accused 18). Death sentences to Robert Payas (Accused 9), Jayakumar (Accused 10) and Ravichandran (Accused 16), delivered at the Designated Trial Court, was altered to life imprisonment. Other 19 appellants were freed.
June 28, 2006 –
T he Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), for the first time, accepted responsibility for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

On August 11, Pratibha Patil rejected the mercy pleas of three convicts, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case of May 1991.
Although the Supreme Court confirmed their death sentences in 2000, it took the President 11 years to reject their mercy pleas.

August 30 2011 –
The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered a stay on hanging of Murugan alias Sriharan, Santhan and Perarivalan alias Arivu convicted for Rajiv Gandhi's assassination for another eight weeks, giving them a brief reprieve.

DMK leader M Karunanidhi, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, Dravidar Kazhagam chief K Veeramani, PMK leader Dr S Ramadoss, state leaders of the CPI and CPM, Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran, “Naam Thamizhar” leader and film-director Seeman, in their pleas for commuting the death penalty of all the three convicts to life term, just as it was done in the case of Nalini, another convict serving a life-term in this case.

The assassination investigation of Rajiv Gandhi generated documents which ran over 1,000 pages, A list is as follows:

1. The verdict of Trial Court judge Navaneetham – 1,600 pages

2. Jain Commission: Interim Report – 5,280 pages

3. Jain Commission: Final Report – 2,000 pages

4. Prosecution documents in the assassination trial – over 9,000 pages

5. Verdict of Supreme Court Justice D.P.Wadhwa – 201 pages
6. Verdict of Supreme Court Justice K.T.Thomas – 69 pages
7. Verdict of Supreme Court Justice S.S.M.Quadri – 25 pages 

On February 18, 2014
Supreme Court of India gave the historical and excellent judgement Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of three assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment

February 19 2014 -

Tamil Nadu government decided to release all seven convicts –
Following are the names of seven convicts who are currently are serving time in a Tamil Nadu jail.





5)Robert Pious



Suggested Reading – 

Full Report Chronology Time Line – Rajiv Gandhi Murder Trial – Part One 

Reality views by sm – 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tags-News, Timeline Chronology Timeline Rajiv Gandhi Murder Trial Judgment


sarah August 31, 2011  

Thank you for visiting my blog.
I was surprised to read this news.

virendra sharma August 31, 2011  

An important update Sm.Thanks for yr visit .
शराफ़त की हिमायत शायरी में ठीक लगती है।
सियासत में भले लोगों का झण्डा गड़ नहीं सकता।
नाट्य रूपांतरण किया है किरण बेदी ने .;

Bikram August 31, 2011  

I would say pity law does not work the same with rest.

Indira Gandhis murderers were hanged and what happened jsut cause they were Sikhs and here we can see the way of the law


sm,  August 31, 2011  


Kirti August 31, 2011  

The convicts should not be hanged as they have undergone jail for the last so many years. They should have been hanged earlier.

dr.antony August 31, 2011  

That was a real good compilation of information. I was planning to write something when I heard about the Tamil Nadu High Court decision.This is an example of the way how our courts and laws are manipulated.

SM August 31, 2011  


Anonymous,  September 01, 2011  

in this case two commissions(Verma and Jain) have submitted rerorts with different views.The court trail view is different.Why not another single agency complie all and take action?If so the present status of the accused would be different and may be some other new elements may have to face trail.
Rajkumar Chennai

sm,  September 06, 2011  

@Anonymous thanks. Both of them did not say that accused are not guilty.
After SC judgment and Pardon rejected we do not need anther commission.
somewhere one has to stop.