CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has wondered as to whether the Multi Disciplanary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), investigating the wider conspiracy behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 in foreign countries including the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka, was still active in its probe.

A division bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and VM Velumani expressed its doubt when the habeas corpus petition from S Padma, mother of Nalini, one of the prime accused in the murder case and serving life sentence in the special prison for women in Vellore, came up for further hearing on Wednesday.

The petition said that Murugan, the husband of Nalini, another accused in the case and lodged in the central prison in Vellore, was not even allowed to watch the last rites of his father, who died in Sri Lanka on April 24, over WhatsApp video.

She filed the present petition for a direction to the Vellore prison authorities and the State government to permit Nalini and Murugan to talk to the latter’s mother in Sri Lanka and sister in London through video call. During the course of hearing on an earlier occasion, replying to a query, the bench was told that the State Governor was awaiting the findings of the MDMA, to consider the recommendation of the State government made in September, 2018, to release all the seven convicts in the case.

When the matter came up on Wednesday, the judges raised the doubt with regard to the functioning of the MDMA, as there was an inordinate delay in making its findings known, and posted the matter for a reply in this regard to August 19.

In Governor’s hands
The bench was told that Governor was awaiting the findings of MDMA, to consider the State’s recommendation to release the seven convicts

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