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Slain sandalwood smuggler and dacoit Veerappan’s elder brother Mathaiyan might be in for some relief after all. The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar on Tuesday (October 3) directed the state to look into the possibility of remission of Mathaiyan’s life sentence.

The apex court also said that if the party is not satisfied with the state, he can go to the high court and plead under Art 226 of the Constitution.

Mathaiyan, 69, is the elder brother of Veerappan and has been in jail since his arrest on July 28, 1987 in connection with a murder case. He was convicted and sentenced to life in November 1997. His petition seeking remission of sentence was dismissed by the Madras High court on December 16, 2015.

Mathaiyan has alleged discrimination, as the Tamil Nadu government has 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. 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.

On Tuesday, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that the application had been rejected when they went to the advisory board.

With its advice to the state government, the court dismissed the petition.

India Legal Bureau

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