Nalini Sriharan to challenge government's order in Madras High Court

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Chennai, Mar 31 (ANI): Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassin Nalini Sriharan is expected to move the Madras High Court challenging the decision of the Tamil Nadu Government that had rejected her plea for premature release.

Nalini informed about this to her lawyer P Pugazhendhi, who met her at Vellore's high security women's special prison on Tuesday evening.

Shocked to hear the state government's decision, Pugazhendhi said the government has gone by a report of the Royapetta Police Station, which had anticipated law and order problem in the area if she was freed asserting that the Prison Advisory Board (PAB) committee members, who considered her premature release request, had given a report in Nalini's favour.

Pugazhendi further said Nalini was 'shocked and disappointed' at the government's decision as she was expecting a favourable report.

"Except that she had not admitted the guilt, what evidence is there that Nalini's attitude has not changed? Even now, she says she has nothing to do with the crime and that she was a victim of circumstances," he added.

The Tamil Nadu Government had on Monday accepted the recommendations of the Prison Advisory Board to refuse premature release to Nalini Sriharan.

The Karunanidhi- led Dravida Munettra Kazhagam (DMK) Government had on March 11 said it would take a final call on Sriharan's plea in two weeks time.

The counsel for the State Government is said to have given this assurance to the Madras High Court.

Earlier on March 10, a two-judge bench of the high court, comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice K.K. Sasidharan, had asked the State Government to submit their report on March 11.

Tamil Nadu Government advocate G.Desingu claimed the Government had just received the report and sought time to study it. Nalini, who is undergoing life imprisonment, is lodged in the Vellore Central Jail.

In her petition, she said she was entitled for release as far as 2005, as she had completed 14 years in jail.

Nalini was convicted on 16 counts of murder, and found guilty under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code on all counts. She was also convicted under Section 3 of TADA and Section 120-B of the IPC, dealing with conspiracy.

Sriharan's original death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after Sonia Gandhi sought a reprieve for Nalini after she had a baby daughter.

In September 2009, Nalini went on a hunger strike demanding that she be set free. (ANI)

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