Fifty days after MDMK Chief Vaiko surrendered at a metropolitan magistrate court in Chennai and demanded he be jailed in connection with a 2009 sedition case, the leader has been granted bail. A session court in Chennai granted Vaiko bail after he moved an application on Wednesday.
The MDMK leader, whose passport had been seized, had on April 3 surrendered before a court in order to put pressure on the Chennai police to start trial in the 2009 sedition case. Refusing to apply for bail then, Vaiko was sent to 15 days judicial custody. He has been lodged at the Puzhal prison in Chennai since then.
The case dates back to 2009, where Vaiko had participated in the book release function of Nan Kutram Sattugiren (I am Accusingâ€¦), which is a compilation of letters written by the MDMK chief to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
According to A Subramani of The Times of India, the Thousands Lights police in Chennai filed a case against him for seditious speech, and a chargesheet was filed in the case in 2010. But since then, there has been no trial.
However, the 2009 case wasnâ€™t the first time sedition charges were slapped on Vaiko. In 2008, he allegedly spoke against the Indian government and supported the LTTE in the last stage of the Sri Lanka civil war, during a public meeting titled â€śElangaiyail Nadapathu Enna?â€ť (Whatâ€™s happening in Sri Lanka?). He reportedly spoke against the Union government for aiding Sri Lanka.
The Q branch of the Chennai police had filed a sedition case against Vaiko in 2009, reportedly for saying in his speech that â€śIndia would not remain one country if the war against the LTTE in Sri Lanka was not stopped.â€ť
However, Vaiko was later acquitted by a sessions court in Chennai in October 2016. The Third Additional Sessions Judge had observed, â€śThe prosecution has failed to prove the charges against Mr Vaiko beyond reasonable doubt.â€ť
Vaiko has also been convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in 2002, for pro-LTTE speeches, and spent 18 months in jail.