HC permits Govt to release prisoners till hearing on Oct 30

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Chennai, Sept 14 (UNI) The Madras High Court today permitted the Tamil Nadu Government to release 1405 life convicts on the occasion of the birth centenary of former Chief Minister and DMK Founder on a condition that if the verdict goes in favour of the Public Interest Litigation(PIL) filed by the Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy, the Government should take into custody all the released prisoners.

The Court also directed that the Government should obtain a bond from all the prisoners about their moral conduct till the disposal of the petition.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Mr Justice Ibrahim Khalifullah ordered notice to the Government, returnable within a week and posted the matter before Ms Justice Prabha Sridevan for next hearing, which will take place on October 30.

The court said till the disposal of the petition the police officials should keep a watch on the released prisoners and monitor their movements.

Dr Swamy yesterday threatened to challenge the Government's decision to release 1,405 life convicts in the Supreme Court, as he alleged that the State Government intentionally issued orders for their release on political considerations.

Dr Swamy also alleged that most of the convicts are members of the ruling DMK. The Government by-passed the Tamil Nadu prison and adisory board by adopting a resolution in the State Cabinet and had taken consent from the Governor S S Barnala to pardon the prisoners, he further alleged.

The Janata Party supremo said in August 2007, a Supreme Court bench had stayed the Andhra Pradesh Government's decision to release 1500 prisoners.

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