TN bus burning case: Reprieve for convicts

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Chennai, Jan 4: Three AIADMK functionaries, who were sentenced to gallows in the sensational Dharmapuri bus burning case, got a temporary reprieve today, when the Tamil Nadu Government informed Madras High Court that the death sentence would be executed only after the disposal of the Special Leave Petition filed by the convicts in the Supreme Court.

When a petition filed by the convicts came up for hearing before a Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice D Murugesan and Mr Justice V Periyakaruppaiah, Public Prosecutor Raja Elango told the court that the Superintendent of the Coimbatore Jail, where the accused were ldoged, had passed an order not to execute the death sentence till the apex court disposed of their petition.

The Jail Superintendent had also sent a copy of the order to the Supreme Court Registrar, the Prosecutor told the Court, submitting a fax copy of the same to the court. Accepting the prosecution's plea, the Bench disposed of the petition filed by the three convicts, seeking to keep the execution in abeyance for a period of eight weeks.

The lower court had awarded death sentence to the AIADMK functionaries Neduchezhian, Ravindran and Muniappan in the case relating to the torching of a bus, in which three girl students of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University were burnt to death, following the conviction of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case in February 2000.

After the High Court had upheld the lower court order and confirmed the sentence, the trial court had fixed the execution for January ten, following which the convicts had moved the apex court.


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