Release of prisoners: HC to hear Swamy's petition today

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Chennai, Sep 14 (UNI) The Madras High Court will hear tonight a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) petition filed by Janata Party(JP) president Subramanian Swamy, challenging the order of the Tamil Nadu government to release 1405 life convicts on the occasion of the birth centenary of former Chief Minister and DMK Founder C N Annadurai.

Dr Swamy appeared before the Chief Justice A K Ganguly this evening in his chamber at the court, despite being a holiday and sought his permission to file the petition immediately.

After the submission of the PIL by Dr Swamy, the Chief Justice directed the register to register his petition and serve notice to the Advocate General in person and posted the matter at 2000 hrs.

In his petition, Dr Swamy submitted that the Government's decision to release 1405 convicts on September 15, without obtaining reports about them would be illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable and ultra-vires of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

The remission order granted by the Tamil Nadu Governor S S Barnala, under Article 161 of the Constitution had been questioned, he said.

The petitioner further submits that the State government wantonly and deliberately issued the order for the release of 1405 convicts for political reasons.

''The Govoernment order is motivated on political ground, since many of the convicts are members of the ruling DMK,'' he said.

Dr Swamy sought to quash the order of the premature release of the life convicts and sought an interim stay order.

In a statement here yesterday, Dr Swamy said he would challenge the order in the Supreme Court as the move was ''unconstitutional and dangerous to public order.'' The Supreme Court had stayed a similar order by the Andhra Pradesh Government releasing about 1500 prisoners in August 2007, he added.

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