Hearing on Nalini's plea for early release posted to Jun 25

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Chennai, Jun 12 (UNI) Madras High Court today posted for June 25 the hearing on a petition seeking early release filed by Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case, after the Centre sought time to file its counter.

When the case came up for hearing before Justice S Nagamuthu, the Central Government Pleader sought time to file the counter following which the hearing posted in the case was to June 25.

Meanwhile, Justice Nagamuthu admitted the impleading petition filed by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy opposing the premature release of Nalini.

After admitting the petition, he ordered issue of notice to Nalini, State and Central Governments and directed them to file the counter before June 18.

Nalini's main petition and Swamy's impleading petition for further hearing was posted for June 25.

In his petition, Dr Swamy said the Supreme Court had, in several cases, held the ''life sentence'' as sentence for life and a convict had no right to demand premature release.

He said the Apex Court had, in Nalini's case, held ''for a person like Nalini, there is no room for any leniency, kindness and benevolence and hence the sentence of imprisonment for life is inadequate.'' He said if Nalini was prematurely released, serious prejudice would be made to the cause of justice and public interest would suffer.

Stating that Nalini's death sentence was commuted to life, he submitted that the power of clemency, having been exercised once, could not be exercised again either directly or indirectly to suit the circumstances out of political compulsion.

Nalini, in her petition, said she had served 17 years in prison and could be released based on her good conduct and that she had to take care of her teenaged daughter.

Nalini's husband, Sriharan alias Murugan, had also been sentenced to death in the same case. Both of them were serving terms in the Vellore Central Prison.

UNI XR/WS AKJ CS1640

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