MADURAI: Displeased with the lack of representation from the litigants' side in two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) challenging government orders (G.O.s) passed for premature release of Melavalavu murder convicts, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court withdrew an interim order, confining the 13 convicts to Vellore district.
A special bench, comprising Justices R Subramanian and N Sathish Kumar, which was constituted to hear the case, expressed that they were 'pained by the attitude of the bar'. Both the party-in-person P Rathinam and the counsel appearing for litigant Balachandra Bose alias Ulaganambi were not present at the court when the case was taken up for hearing as scheduled earlier.
The judges said, "Since there is no representation from the litigants' side, we have no other option but to withdraw the interim order passed on November 27, 2019." They further adjourned the matter to March 16.
The interim order had restrained the convicts from residing in Melavalavu village and had directed them to stay in Vellore district till the disposal of the PIL. Other conditions in the interim order mandated that the convicts should report before the District Probation Officer at Vellore every 2nd and 4th Sundays and before the Vellore SP every 1st and 3rd Sundays. The special bench had been constituted after Rathinam expressed apprehensions over the previous bench.
Kin of victims move PIL
Meanwhile, kin of the victims of the massacre moved a PIL and it was mentioned before the special bench. The PIL, a joint petition filed by five persons, of which four were the wives and one was the mother of the five victims - Murugesan, Raja, Sevagamurthy, Mokkan, Boopathy- also sought quashing of the G.O.s passed on November 8, 2019.