SC refuses to interfere in TN prisoner release

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New Delhi, Sep 24 (UNI) The Supreme Court today refused to interfere in the Tamil Nadu government's decision to release 1,405 prisoners on the 100th birth anniversary of former state Chief Minister C N Annadurai which fell on September 15 this year.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal also refused to grant early hearing to the petition filed by four advocates, including N Rajaraman and others.

The apex court, however, fixed October 13 for hearing the petition challenging the state government order dated September 11, under which M Karunanidhi regime has already released 1,405 prisoners, including 22 women.

According to the petitioners, the state government's order is totally ''illegal, irregular and beyond its powers.'' They also contended that the apex court had earlier stayed the Andhra Pradesh government's decision to release 1,500 prisoners to mark the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence of 1857.

Another petition challenging the same decision is already pending before the Madras High Court and is fixed for hearing on October 30.

Late Annadurai was Mr Karunanidhi's political mentor and his 100th birthday was declared a public holiday in the state.

According to the petitioners, the government cannot be permitted to ridicule the judges who have convicted and sentenced after due process of law and the decision of the state government is tainted with political favoritism.

UNI SC NY RP HS1718

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