Chennai: A special court on Friday sentenced MDMK chief Vaiko to imprisonment for one year in a 2009 sedition case and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him. The court, however, granted a month’s time to Vaiko to file his appeal as the MDMK chief had moved a petition for the same.
Vaiko is nominated on behalf of the DMK as the Rajya Sabha candidate from Tamil Nadu, elections for which will take place on July 18. Vaiko will file his nomination on Saturday.
The case relates to Vaiko’s speech in 2009 during a book launch when the Sri Lankan civil war was at its peak. In his speech, Vaiko said he was in support of LTTE. The Chennai Police had registered a case against Vaiko in 2009 under sections 124(A) (Sedition) and 153(A) of the Indian Penal Code. Vaiko had appeared before the court in May this year in connection with this case.
A charge sheet against him was filed in December 2009 but the leader was arrested. He was granted bail in 2017 by the Egmore Magistrate court and the case was transferred to a special court.
After the judgement was stayed, Vaiko told reporters that he would be happy to get more jail terms.
"I don't want to take back what I spoke then. Nedumaran released a book and at that event, I spoke on Tamil Ezhlam. Whatever I said then is not against our country. I spoke about Tamil Ezhlam tigers in Parliament too in the past. The judge in her statement said the accused sought lenient punishment. I never asked for lenient punishment. I will be happy if I get as much punishment as possible. I wanted as many jail terms as possible,” Vaiko said.