The judgment comes a decade after the accident that occurred at the Sri Krishna Middle School on July 16, 2004. Members of the school management are among those convicted.

The ten convicted include the prime accused and school founder Palanisamy, his wife Saraswathi, adopted daughter Santhalakshmi and four education department officials.

The fire that broke out in the noon meal centre of Sri Krishna Middle School ran to the first floor which has a thatched roof and where 200 nursery students were studying.

The investigation that followed found that basic fire safety rules had been ignored. There were no fire extinguishers, for example, and the school, which had nearly 900 students, had only one exit.

Sri Krishna Aided Private School, Saraswathi Nursery and Primary School and the Sri Krishna Girls High School functioned in the same building.

The incident shook the conscience of the State and raised serious questions about safety in schools.

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