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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

MDMK chief Vaiko gets one-year jail in sedition case

Vaiko, who is the MDMK candidate for the July 18 Rajya Sabha polls, was granted a one-month suspension of sentence under section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2019 01:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Though Vaiko now enjoys the support of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the case against him was filed during the DMK regime in July 2009.
Though Vaiko now enjoys the support of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the case against him was filed during the DMK regime in July 2009.(HT Correspondent)
         

A special court on Friday sentenced Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko to one year’s imprisonment and ordered him to pay a fine of Rs10,000 in a sedition case that dates back to 2009.

Vaiko, who is the MDMK candidate for the July 18 Rajya Sabha polls, was granted a one-month suspension of sentence under section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Though Vaiko now enjoys the support of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the case against him was filed during the DMK regime in July 2009.

The case pertains to Vaiko’s participation in a book launch shortly after the conflict between the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ended in the island nation in May 2009. The former MP had at the time lashed out at then UPA government and the DMK-ruled state government. Vaiko had surrendered before a metropolitan court in 2017 and was remanded in custody but was released on bail after spending 52 days in jail.

Judge J Shanthi said: “The book was released and the hatred message was delivered on July 7, 2009, just two months after the death of LTTE leader Prabhakaran... at that time, there was a danger to the security of the state and the Centre and the mood of the people of the state were in boiling stage. Therefore, the accused is found guilty under 124 A of IPC and convicted and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for the term of one year. The accused has to payRs 10,000.”

Reacting to the judgement, Vaiko said:“When the civil war broke out in Sri Lanka, I accused the then Union government of supporting the Sri Lankan Army. I had even said this to former PM Manmohan Singh.”

On Vaiko’s prospects of becoming an RS MP, Madras HC advocate K Elangovan said: “As per the Representation of the People Act 1951, someone who is convicted of an offence and is sentenced to two years... is disqualified from contesting polls for six years after release. However, this will not apply to Vaiko...”