Release Manichan, waive off Rs 30.45 lakh fine: SC to Kerala


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Kerala government to release Chandran, alias Manichan, the seventh accused in the Kalluvathukkal Hooch Tragedy case, without collecting Rs 30.45 lakh fine.

Though he was sentenced to prison for a life term and 43 years, his term was shortened as part of the remission programme of the State. 

But Manichan's release became difficult after the Kollam sessions court held that Manichan still has to pay a fine of Rs 30.45 lakh in order to be released from jail. Mobilising the large amount proved an obstacle for Manichan and his family members considering their dire financial circumstance.  

Following this, Manichan's wife filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking his release.

The Kerala government had earlier stated that the accused will have to serve an additional jail term of 22 years and 9 months if he did not pay the fine.

The apex court had earlier directed the Kerala State Advisory Board to produce the original file pertaining to Manichan in sealed cover, along with reasons why his application for release could not be decided for the last four months.

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.

Thirty-one lives were lost and over 500 were hospitalised following the tragedy that rocked the state on October 21, 2000. 

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