Tamil Nadu

Court seeks Tamil Nadu government’s response on release of 13 convicts in Melavalavu massacre case

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court   | Photo Credit: R. ASHOK

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court wanted to know the reasons taken into consideration for the recent release of the convicts, who were jailed for murdering six people in 1997

After the State submitted government orders on the release of the 13 life convicts in the Melavalavu massacre case, the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) on Wednesday directed the government to file a counter on the reasons taken into consideration for the release of the convicts.

A Division Bench of Justices S. Vaidyanathan and N. Anand Venkatesh observed that taking into consideration the seriousness and sensitiveness involved in the issue, the court wanted to know the basis on which the orders were passed.

The court impleaded the 13 convicts in the case. The court also allowed the petitioner advocate P. Rathinam to amend the prayer sought in the petition and add additional grounds to challenge the government orders.

The court wanted to know whether the safety and security of the people were taken into consideration while passing the government orders.

The court said that earlier the High Court while hearing the appeals of the accused had observed that the entire incident (Melavalavu massacre) took place with the intention to terrorise the Scheduled Caste community, solely because they contested the panchayat elections. What the accused could not achieve legally, they sought to achieve by taking law into their hands.

The court had expressed displeasure over the release of the 13 who were convicted for a heinous crime.

The convicts were freed recently in connection with the MGR centenary celebrations, citing “good conduct.” They were convicted for murdering six members of the Scheduled Caste community, including Melavalavu panchayat president Murugesan in 1997.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 11:38:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/court-seeks-tamil-nadu-governments-response-on-release-of-13-convicts-in-melavalavu-massacre-case/article30025405.ece

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