Govt seeks to release Manichan, kingpin of 2000 Kalluvathukal hooch tragedy


Thiruvananthapuram: In all 33 convicts lodged in prisons across Kerala are likely to be released if the Governor gives nod to the State Government move in this regard. The likely beneficiaries of the remission include Chandran, alias Manichan, the kingpin of the infamous hooch tragedy reported from Kalluvathukal in Kollam district. Thirty-one lives were lost and over 500 were hospitalised following the tragedy that rocked the state on October 21, 2000.

Manichan, who was the seventh accused in the case, is languishing in prison for the last two decades. Besides, life term, he was sentenced to 43 years more jail term.

The State Cabinet has approved the list of convicts to be given remission to coincide with the platinum jubilee of Indian Independence which is being celebrated nationwide as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. The recommendation has been forwarded to the Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

However, reports say, the Governor may not be appreciative of the move to set free the kingpin of a major crime that resulted in the loss of several lives.

Last week Manichan's wife had filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking his release.

Last November Manichan's two brothers Vinod Kumar and Manikantan (Kochani) were set free after the jail advisory committee had reported that they were ready to lead the lives of law-abiding citizens.. The duo were among the several convicts in the case. The prime accused, Hyrunnisa alias Kalluvathukkal Thatha, had died of liver problems in 2009.

As per the case those who had died had consumed spurious liquor that was sold at Hyrunnisa's house. It was brought from Manichan's godown.

Residents of Kalluvathukkal, Pattazhi and Pallippuram had lost their lives in the incident. Six others had lost vision.

What is Remission

Remission simply means a reduction of the time that a person has to stay in prison. Article 72 and 161 of the Constitution of India empower the President and Governor to grant pardon, to suspend, remit or commute a sentences passed by the courts.

Section 432 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure allows state governments to grant remission to convicts. The provision states that “when any person has been sentenced to punishment for an offence, the appropriate government may, at any time, without conditions or upon any conditions which the person sentenced accepts, suspend the execution of his sentence or remit the whole or any part of the punishment to which he has been sentenced”.

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