Notice to CoP on public meet on Nalini's early release

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Chennai, Jul 21 (UNI) Madras High Court today ordered a notice to the City Police Commissioner(CoP) on a petition seeking permission to hold a public meeting in support of Nalini's early release from prison.

Justice A Kulasekaran admitted a petition filed by Advocate Pugalendi and directed the CoP to file his counter with four weeks.

The petitioner, who was also the president of the Tamizhaga Makkal Urimai Kazhagam moved the High Court seeking permission to hold a public meeting to prevail upon the Tamil Nadu Government to consider the premature release of Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case.

Mr P Pugazhenthi, a practising advocate in the High Court and Joint Secretary of the Kazhagam, sought the court's order after the city police rejected his application seeking permission to hold the public meeting on July 19 at Triplicane in the city.

The petitioner said the meeting was to prevail upon the state Government to consider the premature release of Nalini, imprisoned for 17 years and other prisoners on the occasion of Anna's birth anniversary on September 15.

He said the state government was collecting particulars of life convicts who had undergone imprisonment for eight years or more for the purpose of considering them for premature release on Anna's birth anniversary this year.

The petitioner said the police had refused permission on the ground that two petitions with regard to Nalini's premature release were pending before the High Court and giving permission for the public meeting would amount to contempt of court.

By denying permission on this ground, the police had ignored the fact that right to freedom of speech and expression could not be restricted on the probability of contempt of court, he said.

The police also erred in denying permission on the ground that holding a public meeting to demand the premature release of Nalini would lead to law and order problem, he contended.

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