Nalini’s release plea hearing postponed to July 2

June 19th, 2008 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 19 (IANS) The Madras High Court Thursday adjourned to July 2 the hearing on a petition by Nalini, serving a life term for her role in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, for early release for good behaviour. When the case came up for hearing before Justice S. Nagamuthu, the government’s counsel said they were not prepared with their counter to Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy’s objections to Nalini’s release.

Nalini’s counsel V. Elango and S. Doraisamy opposed Swamy’s petition countering her plea to be released from jail and asked the court to reject it.

With no clear reply from the state government on its position on Nalini’s continued jail term, the judge put the next hearing of the case to July 2.

Gandhi was assassinated May 21, 1991, in Sriperumbudur on the outskirts of Chennai by cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Of the 26 people convicted in the case, four were given the death penalty. Nalini was one of the four, but her sentence was later commuted to a life term. She was convicted of protecting the assassination conspirators.

Nalini, 37, has been in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore jail for 17 years.

On June 9, Swamy filed an impleading petition, opposing her release. In his petition, Swamy said the Supreme Court had in several cases held that “life sentence” meant sentence for life and a convict had no right to demand premature release.

Nalini’s husband Sriharan alias Murugan has been sentenced to death in the same case.

Nalini’s plea for release was rejected once in December 2006. Nalini renewed her petition after Priyanka Vadra met her in Vellore jail recently, the first such meeting between them.

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