It will be held every day to meet Supreme Court stipulated deadline of 6 months

Eight years after 94 children were killed in a fire at the Kumbakonam Krishna School, trial of the case commenced on Monday at the Thanjavur District and Sessions Court here. Eighteen persons were injured in the July 16, 2004 fire.

On the inaugural day of the trial, all 21 accused but Devi were present. Devi did not attend on medical grounds. G. Saravanan, Judge, said the trial would be held every day and efforts would be made to complete the case in six months as stipulated by the Supreme Court.

School headmaster Prabhakaran turned an approver. Government counsel Madusudanan objected to the headmaster turning an approver and filed an objection plea, but the judge rejected it. Charges had been framed on September 10 and cases registered against the accused under section 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) section 120 B conspiracy and violation of Private Schools Act and Municipality Act.

The proceedings of the case began at the Kumbakonam Judicial Magistrate Court which committed it to the Thanjavur District and Sessions court in 2006. The then district judge Zafarullah Khan heard the case but transferred it to a fast track court. Judge of the Fast Track Court Muthusamy heard the case but did not pass orders as he retired. The case went back to the District and Sessions Court. Meanwhile, a petition was filed with the District and Sessions Court, seeking discharge of the prime accused and the correspondent of the school Pulavar Palanisamy and five others. The District Judge dismissed the discharge petition. The advocate filed a revision petition in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

At this stage, yet another accused filed a discharge petition in Supreme Court, which last month directed the Sessions Court to hear the case quickly and pass orders.