The Madras High Court on Tuesday closed a PIL filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy challenging en masse release of 1,405 life convicts by the Tamil Nadu government in 2008 in connection with the centenary celebration of late chief minister and DMK founder C N Annadurai, saying no practical purpose would be served in continuing it.
“No interim orders restraining the release are passed and that the persons stand released eight years ago. “We are, thus, of the view that really speaking, no practical purpose would be served by continuation of these proceedings, as it cannot be really said that now those people have to be brought back into jail,” the First Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan said in its order.
Swamy had filed the PIL in 2008 seeking quashing of the September 11, 2008 Government Order based on which 1,405 prisoners serving life imprisonment were released from jails during the then DMK regime.
Alleging that the release of the convicts was a politically motivated act, Swamy had contended that they had spent only seven years of jail term, and the remission granted to them was not good for the society.
The bench said, “We appreciate that there is legal concern expressed by the petitioner, but various pronouncements have been made qua such release. We, thus, consider it appropriate to leave the question of law open if the petitioner wants to urge some aspects, while closing the present proceedings.”
It also closed another related PIL filed by two life convicts — A Samsudeen and Jakir alias Gundu Jakir. Considerable time had passed since these writ petitions were filed. In one of the petitions, the counsel does not have instructions as to whether the petitioner therein has or has not been released. In another case, nobody represents the petitioner.
“We are thus of the view that the only direction to be passed in these matters is that if these petitioners have not already been released, the relevant Committee under the Chairmanship of Superintendent of Central Prisons may examine their case in accordance with law,” the bench said.