January 28, 1998: Poonamallee trial court convicts 26 in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case including Nalini Sriharan and sentences all of them to death.
May 11, 1999: Supreme Court confirms death sentence for 4 convcits. Nalini, wife of V Sriharan alias Murugan, Sriharan, T Santhan alias Suthanthiraraja, Arivu alias A G Perarivalan.
The top court also commuted the death sentences awarded to 3 convicts, K Robert Payas, S Jayakumar and P Ravi alias Ravichandran. Also the court set aside the death sentence awarded to 19 others.
April 19, 2000: Tamil Nadu Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi recommends commutation of Nalini’s death sentence to life imprisonment. Rejects mercy plea of three others. Governor approves decision.
April 26, 2000: V Sriharan, T Santhan alias Suthanthiraraja, Arivu alias A G Perarivalan submit mercy petitions to the President.
August 12, 2011: The President, on the recommendations of the Centre rejects mercy petitions of the trio.
August 29, 2011: Late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa pilots a resolution in Assembly urging the President to commute death sentences to life terms. Resolution passed and sent to Central government for consideration.
February 18, 2014: Citing inordinate delay in deciding their mercy petitions, the Supreme Court commutes the death sentence of –Sriharan, Santhan and Perarivalan– to life in prison.
February 19, 2014: Jayalalithaa announces in Assembly the government’s intent to prematurely release all the 7 Rajiv Gandhi case convicts. The Tamil Nadu government writes to Centre on the matter seeking its concurrence as per the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code as the case involved probe by CBI. Union government approaches Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu government’s move.
December 2, 2015: Supreme Court rules that consultation implies only concurrence according to the Cr P C provisions governing remission.
March 2, 2016: Jayalalithaa government writes to Centre again on remission seeking its concurrence to release 7 convicts.
April 18, 2018: Union Home Ministry declines to give concurrence to State government’s decision.
September 9, 2018: Tamil Nadu Cabinet presided by Chief Minister K Palaniswami recommends to Governor to release of all 7 convicts under Article 161 of the Constitution.
May 18, 2022: Supreme Court orders release of Perarivalan.
Total charge-sheeted were 41 and 26 went for trial and others died, some during case pendency and others later including the now defunct LTTE’s Velupillai Prabhakaran.