Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday directed
the Tamil Nadu government to file a counter affidavit in two
weeks on a petition by Janata Party President Dr Subramanian
Swamy seeking to quash a September 11, 2008 Government Order
releasing 1405 life convicts on Sept 15, 2008 on the occasion
of DMK party founder late C N Annadurai`s birth anniversary.
Earlier, Swamy appeared in person and sought early hearing
of his petition filed about 18 months ago. He pointed out that
while the petition had been admitted by the High Court, the
state government was yet to file its counter affidavit.
In its order, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice H L
Gokhale and Justice V Dhanapalan also directed Swamy to file a
rejoinder to the government affidavit two weeks after the
government filed its counter and posted the petition for
hearing on June 14.
Claiming that convicts` release contravened provisions of
Sec 433 and 433A of CrPC, Swamy charged the state government
with not taking necessary steps to obtain reports from the
authorities concerned on each of the convicts to be released.
The government had `indiscriminately and arbitrarily`
applied a seven-year minimum period of imprisonment as a
criteria for release of the convicts without reference to any
legal provisions, Swamy contended and added the decision was
`illegal unreasonable and ultra vires of Article 14 of the