MDMK Vaiko convicted in sedition case; sentenced to a year in prison

MDMK, Vaiko, Rajya Sabha, The Federal, English news website.
Vaiko expressed confidence that his nomination will be accepted, and that he has been informed that Elango will withdraw his papers in such an event. File photo: PTI

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko was convicted in connection with a sedition case filed against him for his speech during a book release function in 2009 on Friday (July).

The special court judge J Shanthi found him guilty under section 124A (sedition) of the IPC and sentenced him to one year imprisonment, apart from slapping him with a fine of ₹10,000.

In 2009, Tamil Nadu police had registered a case against Vaiko under section 124A and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, place of birth, residence and language) for his speech during the release of his book ‘Naan Kutram Sattugiren’ (I am making the accusation). In the speech, he had warned that India will not be a unified country if the war against the LTTE in Sri Lanka is not stopped.

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Though the charge sheet for the case was filed in December, 2009, Vaiko was not arrested in connection with the case. It was only in the early 2017 that Vaiko formally surrendered before the XIV Metropolitan Magistrate court as the passport authorities refused to clear his application to move abroad.

Subsequently, he has been attending the trial. On Friday, he was convicted for sedition, while sources said that he was already discharged for the charges of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, place of birth, residence and language.

The special court found him guilty at a time when the Vaiko is nominated as the Rajya Sabha member from his party. Vaiko is set to file his nominations on Saturday (July 6).

Reacting to it, Vaiko said that he was shocked when he heard the judge say that he plead for minimum punishment. “I never asked for minimum punishment. I asked them to give me the maximum punishment. I will continue to support the LTTE, irrespective of the situation,” Vaiko added.

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