October 20, 2016
MDMK leader Vaiko was today acquitted by local court of charges of sedition and supporting unlawful activities in connection with his 2008 speech in which he allegedly supported banned terror outfit LTTE.
“Finally, no charges against the accused under Section 124 A IPC (Sedition) and 13 (1) (b) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (supporting unlawful activity) are proved,” Third Additional Sessions Judge said here pronouncing the judgment.
“This court acquits the accused,” the Judge said in a packed court hall, where Vaiko had appeared in his trademark black shawl along with his battery of lawyers minutes before the ruling was read out.
Vaiko was greeted by his supporters and lawyers. Firecrackers were burst to celebrate his acquittal.
The prosecution case was that on October 20 2008, Vaiko allegedly spoke in a manner which infringed Indian sovereignty and in support of the LTTE, that was fighting for an independent Tamil Eelam (homeland) in Sri Lanka during the onset of final stages of the civil war between the Tamil Tigers and the island nation’s Army.
Addressing a public indoor meeting titled Ilangaiyail Nadapathenna (What is happening in Sri Lanka?), he had allegedly spoken against the Centre for aiding Sri Lanka in its efforts to decimate the LTTE.
During questioning under CrPC, Vaiko said that he did address the meeting, adding he had only spoken about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and not against Indian sovereignty.
The ‘Q’ branch wing of Tamil Nadu Police, which deals with internal security, had then filed a case of sedition and unlawful activity against Vaiko.
During the trial, policemen who were prosecution witnesses stuck to their position against Vaiko, though several others had turned hostile.
The MDMK general secretary’s speech in the form of CD and its transcripts were submitted in the court as evidence.
A posse of policemen was deployed in the court premises. Entry, including for media persons, was restricted.