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PTI chennai India
Updated: 19-11-2018 20:23 IST

Three AIADMK men, serving life

sentence for setting ablaze a bus in Dharmapuri that killed

three girls of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in 2000,

were released prematurely from the Vellore Central Prison


A Nedunchezhian, G Ravindran and C Muniappan were

released from the Central Prison around noon, a top official

told PTI.

The state government prematurely released the convicts

in commemmoration of the birth centenary celebrations

(2017-18) of former Chief Minister M G Ramachandran, also

AIADMK founder.

In connection with the birth centenary celebrations,

Chief Minister K Palaniswami had announced in December 2017

that his government would take steps for the premature release

of life convicts.

The release contemplated was for those who had served

upto ten years of imprisonment on "humanitarian grounds within

the framwork of law and prison rules," he said.

Guidelines were subsequently framed by the government for

conisdering the cases of life convicts for their premature

release under Article 161 of the Constitution.

Separate government orders were issued for prematurely

releasing the trio. The orders said each of them had completed

10 years of actual imprisonment as on February 25, 2018.

The government has accepted the prison department's

proposal for their release, the orders said.

The Inspector General of Prisons' proposal for their

release was based on the recommendation of two committees

set up for the premature release of life convicts, it said.

"In exercise of the powers conferred under Art 161 of

the Constitution, the Governor of Tamil Nadu hereby remits the

unexpired portion of sentence of imprisonment for life," the

separate but identical orders said on the release of the trio.

The government order mandated furnishing of bonds "as

per usual terms and conditions," for the beneficiaries of the

government's premature release.

A Sessions Court in Salem had convicted the three men to

death in 2007 and the Madras High Court had the same year

confirmed the death sentence.

While the Supreme Court had upheld the High Court order

in 2010, it had stayed the execution of the sentence in 2011

and in March 2016, the top court had commuted the death

sentence to life term.

Soon after former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was

convicted in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case on February 2, 2000

for allegedly flouting norms to favour a hotel at Kodaikanal,

AIADMK workers held protests and a mob torched a varsity bus

the same day in Dharmapuri.

Jayalalithaa was sentenced to one year rigorous

imprisonment in that case.

Three students, Kokilavani, Gayathri and Hemalatha died

in the blaze amid commotion while 44 other students and two

college lecturers managed to escape.

Scores of life convicts have already been released from

prisons across the state in connection with the centenary


(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)