No­tice to TN govt on re­mis­sion plea of Veer­ap­pan’s brother

The New Indian Express - - TAMIL NADU / SOUTH -

THE Supreme Court on Fri­day sought the Tamil Nadu gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse on a plea filed by slain san­dal­wood smug­gler Veer­ap­pan’s brother, seek­ing re­mis­sion in the life term awarded to him.

A Bench of Chief Jus­tice Di­pak Misra and Jus­tices A M Khan­wilkar and D Y Chan­drachud is­sued no­tice to the State gov­ern­ment, to be re­turned in four weeks.

Mathaiyan had ap­proached the apex court seek­ing re­mis­sion of his life sen­tence, al­leg­ing that the State gov­ern­ment did not duly con­sider his case for re­mis­sion. In his pe­ti­tion, he said he had been in jail since his ar­rest on July 28, 1987, in a mur­der case and was con­victed and sen­tenced to life in Novem­ber 1997.

Mathaiyan’s pe­ti­tion seek­ing re­mis­sion of his sen­tence was dis­posed of by the Madras High Court on De­cem­ber 16, 2015. The High Court had di­rected the Tamil Nadu gov­ern­ment to con­sider his plea. But the State gov­ern­ment did not con­sider it, as di­rected.

Mathaiyan had al­leged dis­crim­i­na­tion on the part of the Tamil Nadu gov­ern­ment and said it had granted re­mis­sion to other pris­on­ers, who had served at least 20 years of ac­tual im­pris­on­ment, in terms of a gov­ern­ment or­der dated Novem­ber 10, 1994. Dur­ing the hear­ing, the coun­sel for Mathaiyan sub­mit­ted be­fore the Bench that the ac­cused has al­ready served 23 years in prison and said, “He is old and in­firm. The life sen­tence is likely to be com­muted in con­sid­er­a­tion of his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and good con­duct.”

The court also or­dered that the copy of the sen­tence be served to the state of Tamil Nadu.

On July 28, 2007, when the State gov­ern­ment re­leased hun­dreds of pris­on­ers serv­ing life sen­tence in ex­er­cise of its re­mis­sion pow­ers, his case was not con­sid­ered for el­i­gi­bil­ity, Mathaiyan said.

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