MDMK leader Vaiko sentenced to a year in 2009 sedition case

File photo of Vaiko

Chennai: A special court today sentenced Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko to one year in prison and levied Rs 10,000 as fine in a sedition case.

The special court, which deals with cases related to elected representatives like MLAs and MPs, today delivered the verdict in the Vaiko case.

The case goes back to 2009 when a defamation case was filed by the DMK against Vaiko while talking in his book release function. He had vehemently condemned the then prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Central government of which the DMK was an alliance partner, for the death of Tamils in the civil war waged by Sri Lanka against the LTTE.

“India will not remain one country if the war against the LTTE in Sri Lanka is not stopped,” Vaiko had said during the launch of his book Naan Kutram Saattugiren¬†(I am accusing).

The DMK had filed the treason case against Vaiko for his speech, charging him with speaking against India’s sovereignty.

The MDMK leader had filed a plea in the High Court to dismiss the case which was declined by the court. The case then shifted to the special court functioning in the Chennai collectorate as per a Supreme Court order.

Today, Vaiko was sentenced to a year in prison for treason and told to pay a fine of Rs 10,000. Though he paid up the fine, the sentence has been stayed for a month to allow him to go on appeal.

The moot question now is whether Vaiko can continue to contest the election for the Rajya Sabha. He is now in the DMK alliance and has been nominated to contest for a Rajya Sabha seat. This was part of the 2019 general elections pact signed by the MDMK and DMK.

He was to file his nomination papers tomorrow and return to Parliament after 15 years.

 

NT Bureau