NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Tamil Nadu government’s response on a plea filed by slain sandalwood smuggler Veerappan’s brother, seeking remission in the life term awarded to him.
A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud issued notice to the State government, to be returned in four weeks.
Mathaiyan had approached the apex court seeking remission of his life sentence, alleging that the State government did not duly consider his case for remission. In his petition, he said he had been in jail since his arrest on July 28, 1987, in a murder case and was convicted and sentenced to life in November 1997.
Mathaiyan’s petition seeking remission of his sentence was disposed of by the Madras High Court on December 16, 2015. The High Court had directed the Tamil Nadu government to consider his plea. But the State government did not consider it, as directed.
Mathaiyan had alleged discrimination on the part of the Tamil Nadu government and said it had granted remission to other prisoners, who had served at least 20 years of actual imprisonment, in terms of a government order dated November 10, 1994.
During the hearing, the counsel for Mathaiyan submitted before the Bench that the accused has already served 23 years in prison and said, “He is old and infirm. The life sentence is likely to be commuted in consideration of his rehabilitation and good conduct.”
The court also ordered that the copy of the sentence be served to the state of Tamil Nadu.
On July 28, 2007, when the State government released hundreds of prisoners serving life sentence in exercise of its remission powers, his case was not considered for eligibility, Mathaiyan said.