Nalini case: HC asks Union, State Govts to file counter

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Chennai, Aug 6 (UNI) Madras High Court today directed the Union and State Governments to file their counter on or before August 11 on a petition filed by Nalini, life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking early release from prison.

Ms Nalini filed two writ petitions. The first one in 2006 and the second in 2008 after Mr Gandhi's daughter Priyanka met her in the Vellore Prison.

Both the petitions came up for final hearing before Justice A Nagamuthu after which the Union and State Government Advocates sought further time to file counter.

Followingng this, the Judge gave time and posted the matter to August 11 for final hearing.

Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy, who opposed her early release, filed an impleading petition which was dismissed by the court.

Opposing the impleading petition, the State Government cited a Supreme Court order which said ''imprisonment of life lasts until the last breath of the convict'' and Nalini could not seek premature release on the ground she had already served 17 years in prison.

Nalini was awarded capital punishment in the case but secured clemency when the State Governor commuted her death sentence to life on her mercy petition, it recalled.

UNI XR GM RJ HT1300

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