Vaiko convicted in sedition case, gets one year jail

MDMK general secretary Vaiko was today convicted by a city court in Chennai in a sedition case filed in 2009 by the then DMK government in Tamil Nadu.

Vaiko was held guilty of sedition over his comments in 2009 at the launch of his book.

“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 Kuttram Saatugiren… (I am accusing…).” He was charged with speaking against India’s sovereignty.

Vaiko, earlier this week, was named as a Rajya Sabha candidate by DMK alliance in Tamil Nadu and was all set to file his nomination tomorrow. This would mark his return to parliament after 15 years.

According to MDMK leader Nanmaran, Vaiko has been granted suspension of sentence for one month under CrPC 389, that allows suspension of sentence pending an appeal by a convicted person.

Vaiko was expected to file his nomination for the Rajya Sabha election on Saturday. However, some experts say that since sedition is not listed as one of the offences under the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 for which disqualification is attracted regardless of the prison term, he may be allowed to contest.

As per the Representation of People’s Act 1951, someone who is convicted of an offence and is sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more, they are disqualified from contesting elections, for six years after their release.

Vaiko, who was present in the court, said he never sought any leniency. A petition was filed to suspend the conviction enabling an appeal against the order. The conviction and sentence then stayed for a month.

Police had registered a case under section 124(A) against Vaiko for the speech he made while releasing his book Naan Kutram Sattugiren or I am Making the Accusation) in 2009.