CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has rejected a plea to quash a government order which refused premature release of Hariharan, serving life imprisonment in connection with the murder of former AIADMK MLA M K Balan, who later joined the DMK.
The petition sought to quash the GO issued in October, 2020, which refused premature release of Hariharan under GO dated February 1, 2018 of the Home (Prison-IV) department and consequently for a direction to release him prematurely.
"It is also well settled that a convict prisoner has no fundamental or statutory right to be released prematurely", a division bench of Justices P N Prakash and A A Nakkiran said while dismissing a writ petition from N Sarojini, mother of Hariharan, recently.
Balan was kidnapped and murdered in 2001. A case was registered against 18 accused, including Hariharan. A local court here convicted and sentenced Hariharan and others to life imprisonment in 2004.
While so, his mother Sarojini filed the present petition to release him prematurely.
The bench noted that the trial court and the HC, in appellate stage, had found Hariharan was the mastermind behind the entire plot to kidnap and murder Balan in a gruesome manner. He was also handed life sentence in some other case registered in 2003 on the file of the Additional District and Sessions Court (FTC-I), Chennai, for murder and abduction.
This Court had also affirmed the conviction and sentence vide its judgment passed in November, 2004. Hence, by no stretch of imagination could these aspects be termed as irrelevant or extraneous while declining to exercise power under Article 161, in the interests of the society at large and the family of the victims, the judges said and dismissed the petition.