India’s Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Tamil Nadu government to appoint senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and Indian Police Service (IPS) officer to speed up sending the mortal remains of freed Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Santhan alias T. Suthenthiraraja to Sri Lanka.

Santhan died in a Chennai hospital on Wednesday (Feb.28).

A division bench of Justice R. Suresh Kumar and Justice K. Kumaresh Babu passed the order on a plea moved by Santhan seeking a direction to the Indian government to take immediate steps to deport him to Sri Lanka.

When the plea came up for hearing, the court wondered why Santhan was not deported immediately to Sri Lanka though necessary approvals were issued by the Sri Lankan high commission.

To this, state public prosecutor Hasan Mohamed Jinnah informed the court that the state planned to send Santhan to Sri Lanka on Feb 27 using an air ambulance, but his health condition deteriorated and he passed away on Feb 28.

Now, steps have been taken to transport his mortal remains to his home country, he added.

Representing the Union government, additional solicitor general ARL Sundaresan submitted that steps would be taken to clear all the files necessary for the transportation of his mortal remains immediately.

Recording the submissions, the bench directed the Tamil Nadu government to appoint senior IAS/IPS officers as nodal officers to expedite the process and file a compliance report by March 4.

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