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However, he will be allowed to make submissions on merits of Nalini’s writ petition

“Respondents won’t be prejudiced if Dr. Swamy is allowed to make submissions”

Apprehension of collusion with government baseless and unwarranted, says Judge

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, seeking to implead himself in a writ petition by Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking premature release.

However, the court granted liberty to Dr. Swamy to make his submissions on the merits of the writ petition when it is taken up for disposal.

In his petition, the Janata Party leader said the Supreme Court had, in several cases, held that a life convict did not have any inherent right to demand premature release.

Apprehension

He had a genuine apprehension that if Nalini was prematurely released, serious prejudice would be caused to the cause of justice and public interest would suffer.

Larger issues

In his order, Justice S. Nagamuthu said the case involved larger issues arousing great public interest. Being a political leader and former Union Minister, when the petitioner stated that he had got some submissions to assist the court to arrive at a correct conclusion in the case, as per the settled law, it was absolutely necessary for the court to exercise its discretion to allow him to participate in the proceedings to make his submissions.

The respondents had nowhere stated that if Dr. Swamy was permitted, they would be prejudiced.

Mr. Justice Nagamuthu said he was of the firm opinion that the respondents, more particularly Nalini, would not be in any manner prejudiced if Dr. Swamy was permitted to make his submissions.

Proper party

He held that the Janata Party leader was a proper party and should be permitted to make his submissions without impleading him as a party to the writ petition, as he was not a necessary party.

The Judge referred to a judgment cited by Nalini’s counsel and said as held in the judgment, Dr. Swamy could be accorded the status of representer in the writ petition and afforded an opportunity to make his representation on the merits of the case.

Though Dr. Swamy’s counsel argued that the petitioner was a necessary party, the court was unable to see any such averment in the petitioner’s affidavit.

Referring to Dr. Swamy’s apprehension that there was a likelihood of collusion between Nalini and the government, the Judge said the Advocate-General had made a statement in unequivocal terms that the government would place all facts and law before the court in support of the government order (rejecting Nalini’s request for premature release) and oppose the writ petition.

The Judge said he did not find any reason to doubt the government’s statement. The apprehension of possible collusion was absolutely baseless and unwarranted and so the same deserved to be rejected.

Supreme Court judgment cited

Quoting a Supreme Court judgment, Mr. Justice Nagamuthu said since the petitioner was not a necessary party, he could not be impleaded. But, at the same time, if it was held that the petitioner had the locus standi and was a proper party, it was absolutely necessary to allow him to appear in the case.

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