Special Correspondent

Says Subramanian Swamy has no locus standi to implead himself in the case

To file a counter affidavit opposing premature release

“Ruling coalition not supporting LTTE”

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government will oppose the premature release of Nalini, a life convict in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the government submitted before the Madras High Court on Friday.

In its counter to a petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, who sought to implead himself in the writ petition filed by Nalini seeking premature release, the government submitted that it was not necessary for Dr.Swamy to implead himself as a party in the case.

After hearing arguments, Justice S.Nagamuthu reserved orders on Dr. Swamy’s petition. In the counter, the Joint Secretary, Home, A. Mani, submitted that the government had already rejected the premature release of Nalini based on the merits of the case. It would file a counter affidavit opposing such a release. Dr.Swamy’s apprehension that the Central and State Governments may collude with the life convict for the sake of her release was absolutely baseless and imaginary. Priyanka, daughter of Rajiv Gandhi, met Nalini in prison on March 19, but the meeting had nothing to do with the premature release of the convict.

As regards the allegation that the parties of the ruling coalition such as the DMK, PMK and Dalit Panthers were close to the LTTE, a banned terrorist organisation, and that the DMK government was dismissed in 1991 for supporting LTTE, the counter said that it was only a surmise to contend that the ruling party and its allies were supporting the LTTE. The government never had any soft corner for any act of terrorism.

“The dismissal of the government in January 1991 was rather a political move and not based on any proven fact in respect of close association with any terrorist group.” The allegation of closeness to such a terrorist outfit was baseless, but may be a politically motivated averment of Dr. Swamy.

During arguments, Advocate-General G. Masilamani said Dr. Swamy’s petition was based on doubts and apprehensions. He submitted that the government would uphold the law. It did not need the assistance of Dr. Swamy. He was neither a necessary party nor a proper party to the proceedings. He did not have any locus standi to implead himself.

Dr. Swamy’s counsel, G. Rajagopalan, wondered what legal harm would be caused to the government if the Janata Party leader impleaded himself in the writ petition. The killing of the former Prime Minister was an offence against society. The matter was of serious public interest. Dr. Swamy was a public spirited person and he was best suited to challenge the premature release.

Nalini’s counsel, S. Doraisamy, quoting the Jain Commission, said Dr. Swamy was one who could not be believed. Such a person should not be heard. He submitted that the procedure had not been followed while passing the order rejecting her premature release.

(On October 31 last year, the government issued an order rejecting Nalini’s request for premature release on the basis of the recommendation of the Additional Director-General of Prison. It was against this she filed the writ petition.)