Chennai: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit said Tuesday that he went by the advice of the Advocate General while freeing three AIADMK activists convicted for burning a bus which killed three young women.
In a statement, Purohit’s office said the files related to the three convicts – Muniappan, Nedunchezhian and Ravindran – seeking remission of their life term was initially returned to the government for reconsideration.
The three were released Monday after Purohit okayed the AIADMK government’s recommendation for their premature release.
The convicts burnt a bus in which students of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore were travelling during a protest against the conviction of then party leader J. Jayalalithaa in a corruption case in 2000.
Three young girl students — Hemalatha, Kokilavani and Gayathri — were burnt to death in the bus while other students escaped.
The government October 25 sent the files to Purohit reiterating the recommendation for their release following which the advice of the Advocate General was sought by the Governor, the statement said.
The Advocate General argued that the victims were unknown to the convicts and there was no premeditation or planning and that the incident happened in a flash.
The three convicts had been in prison for 13 years and orders were issued approving their premature release under Article 161 of the Constitution, the statement said.
To mark the birth centenary of MGR, the government has recommended the release of 1,858 life term convicts who have been jailed for 10 years.
A total of 1,627 life convicts have been ordered to be released by Purohit.