The former Minister and Kerala Congress (B) leader R. Balakrishna Pillai, 78, undergoing a one-year rigorous imprisonment term in the Idamalayar corruption case, was on Tuesday set free under a remission granted by the State government on the occasion of the 55th formation day of Kerala.

Central Prison Superintendent Pradeep completed the formalities at a private hospital in the city, where the former Minister had been undergoing treatment for the past 87 days.

Official sources said the police personnel and prison staff posted outside the room had been withdrawn following the release.

As per orders issued by the Home Department on Monday, Balakrishna Pillai was eligible for release as prisoners serving terms exceeding six months and up to one year had been granted two months' remission. Balakrishna Pillai had served 69 days in prison, according to official sources.

The order stated that the provisions in the Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services (Management) Act, 2010, would not stand in the way of granting remission, ordered by invoking Article 161 of the Constitution.

The authorities had taken steps for the release of 28 others who would benefit from the remission orders. About 2,500 prisoners lodged in various prisons as on August 15 would benefit. As many as 138 prisoners (nearing the completion of their terms) will get release orders immediately.

Pillai started serving the term after he surrendered before Idamalayar Special Court Judge V. Vijayakumar on February 18 in the case of 1980 when he was Electricity Minister in the Congress-led United Democratic Front government.