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High Court slams Swamy

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday cautioned Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy against revealing to the media details about his appeal against a single judge’s order pertaining to the release of Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Dr. Swamy’s counsel tendered an apology and said that it would not happen in future.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and N. Paul Vasanthakumar, took exception to the behaviour of Dr. Swamy when his appeal against the single judge’s order in 2008 came up for hearing.

Mr. Justice Rao said when the matter was pending before the court, Dr. Swamy was arguing the case outside the court.

Sub judice

His objection to the appearance of Nalini before the court had already been published in newspapers. It had already been decided in newspapers. The matter was sub judice. It was a clear contempt.

At one stage, the Judge asked, “Why this publicity?” He also told counsel to put an end to this kind of behaviour.

Advisory board report

Earlier, Advocate-General P.S. Raman said the report of the advisory board, which considered the issue of Nalini’s premature release, was “expected any time now.”

The government had made it clear that it would not take decision unilaterally without taking the view of the Central government.

The board’s report had not been received by the government.

In his order on a petition by Nalini, a single Judge in September 2008 had said that the prison advisory board was not validly convened.

Her case should be reconsidered by the board and the government should decide whether she should be given the benefit of premature release or not.

The Judge had quashed the proceedings of the board and the government orders. He had remitted the matter to the advisory board for reconsideration. Dr. Swamy had filed an appeal challenging the single Judge’s order.

In the meanwhile, Nalini, who is in the Special Prison for Women, Vellore, had sent a telegram to the High Court stating that she should be permitted to appear in person to represent her case. When Nalini’s counsel mentioned this, Justice Dharma Rao said the Bench would take a decision.

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