Madurai, Nov 18 : Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday directed the Tamil Nadu government to produce the government order (GO) pertaining to the release of 13 convicts in the Melavalavu massacre case.
A division bench comprising Justices S.Vaidyanathan and N.Anand Venkatesh, while hearing a petition filed by advocate P.Rathinam challenging the premature release of the convicts, directed the state government to produce the relevant documents in the case on November 19.
The petitioner also sought a direction to the state to furnish the G.O regarding the release of the convicts. The court expressed displeasure over the release of the convicts and questioned the state as to how the 13 people convicted for a heinous crime were released. The Judges directed the concerned officer to be present before the court with all documents pertaining to the case.
‘The convicts, who had butchered six Dalits, had been released even though two courts, including the Supreme Court had found them guilty and confirmed the conviction. What was the hurry in releasing the convicts? If they were released, where is safety for the people belonging to SC and ST community in the village,” the court questioned.
The court further questioned is they (the convicts) so important to the society that they need to be released. There is a limit to which you can pass a G.O. Even in the Dharmapuri bus burning case, the convicts were released. Lives of human beings were more important than any affiliation, it said.
All the 13 convicts in the case were released recently citing good conduct in connection with the MGR centenary celebrations. They murdered six Dalits, including Melavalavu Panchayat President Murugesan on June 30, 1997 for contesting in local body’ elections.
The conviction and life sentence of the 13 accused were confirmed by the Apex Court on October 10, 2009. (UNI)