Chennai: The Madras high court has directed the state government to file a status report before it providing details with regard to the materials that were considered before coming to the conclusion to release the 13 life convicts in the Melavalavu massacre case, in which 6 dalits were murdered at melavalavu in Madurai district in 1997.
A division bench comprising Justices S.Vaidyanathan and N.Anand Venkatesh gave the directive and posted to November 25, further hearing of the petition filed by advocate P.Rathinam.
The bench said the status report should specifically address the issues relating to whether the authority concerned had taken into consideration the specific findings that have been given by this court while considering the appeals filed by the accused persons, at the time when the government orders were passed releasing the life convicts, whether any order was passed by giving an opportunity (as per the earlier direction of the court to consider the representation of the petitioner), before government orders were passed on November 8, 2019 releasing the life convicts, whenever such remission government orders were passed which results in premature release of the life convicts, whether it was considered according to the seniority or it was taken out of turn and considered and if it was taken according to seniority, the authority concerned shall provide the particulars as to how many such representations for premature release has been given by other life convicts before or at the time when it was given by the 13 life convicts, involved in this case and was pending as on today and whether the authority concerned had taken into consideration the impact or the effect the government orders will have, on the community which was subjected to attack and whether their safety and security in future was taken into consideration, before the government orders were passed, the bench added.
Taking cognizance of the government orders that have been produced by the Additional public prosecutor as per the earlier directive of the court and the files that have been placed before it, the bench said taking into consideration the seriousness and sensitivity involved in the issue, this court wants to test the basis on which the government orders were passed.
In the meantime, P.Rathinam, petitioner-in-person, requested this court to permit him to amend the prayer in the writ petition and permit him to challenge the government orders dated November 8, 2019.
The petitioner also requested permission to add additional grounds in the writ petition, since he was going to challenge the government orders. Permission was granted and the petitioner was permitted to file necessary petitions for amending the relief in the writ petition and for adding the additional grounds in the writ petition, the bench added.