The Madras High Court on Thursday suspended the one year jail term awarded to MDMK leader and Rajya Sabha member Vaiko in a sedition case.
Hearing the appeal filed by Vaiko, the court suspended the one year sentence handed out by the Special Court for Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly. The court suggested to Vaiko's counsel to caution his client while making public speeches.
Vaiko's speech during the launch of the book in Chennai in 2009 was considered as seditious and a case was filed against him. The case was decided on July 5 sentencing him for one year jail term and a fine of Rs 10,000. In his speech, he had warned that if India wants to remain a single, unified country, the war against LTTE in Sri Lanka must be stopped.
A case was registered against him for his speech at the Thousand Lights police station under sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) of the IPC. The police filed a chargesheet in the case in 2009, however, Vaiko was not arrested until 2017. In April 2017, Vaiko was arrested and sent to Puzhal jail. However, he was released on bail after he had spent over a mont in Puzhal prison.
Speaking to reporters after hearing the judgement, Vaiko said he did not deny the charges. "Today is the happiest day in my life."
He said he will continue to support Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Vaiko refuted that he had asked for lenient punishment.
"I told the judge that I had not asked for lenient punishment. I will continue to support LTTE. Even if it is a life sentence I will be happy," Vaiko then said.
(With inputs from IANS)