Madurai: Tamil Nadu government on Monday filed a counter affidavit in the Madras High Court bench here, expressing its inability to order premature release of some life convicts, as per a government order, because it had been challenged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and the matter was pending in the High Court.
The Deputy Secretary (Home) M.Arachelvi today filed her counter on a batch of petitions filed by life convicts who served more than ten years seeking premature release.
She said "the state cannot release them as the case challenging the legal validity of the G.O (government order) is pending in the high court."
She said the state government by issuing a G.O. On September 11, 2008, ordered the premature release of 1405 life convicts who had completed seven years of actual imprisonment or prisoners who were 60 years and above and spent five year in actual imprisonment.
She submitted that the life convicts, who sought premature release, had not completed the period of seven years and the calculation of the sentence period including the bail, parole, special leave cannot be included in the sentence period.
It was submitted that Subramanian Swamy had challenged the legal validity of the GO before the principal seat of the Madras High Court and the writ petition was pending and no such decision can be be taken until the petition is disposed.
Earlier, 66 life convicts approached the court contending that they have served more than eight years than the stipulated yardstick subsequent to the GO and they are entitled to claim the premature release benefit provided.
They also argued that the state had already extended the benefit of the GO to some 1405 life convicts and denying it to them is in violation of provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution.
Recording the counter affidavit of the state Home department, a division bench, comprising Justice A Selvam and Justice V S Ravi, adjourned the case.