Vaiko was expected to file his nomination for Rajya Sabha on Saturday.
Chennai: Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko, a special court here, convicted the veteran political leader in a sedition case filed in 2009.
The Special Court judge J Shanthi pronounced the sentence charging him a fine of Rs. 10,000/- and a one year imprisonment, The News Minute reported.
An MDMK leader said that Vaiko has been granted suspension of sentence for one month under Code of Criminal Procedure 389 under which a court sentence can be suspended pending the appeal by a convicted person.
Vaiko was expected to file his nomination for Rajya Sabha on Saturday. The News Minute reported that the legal experts, however, believe that offence of sedition doesn’t disqualify a public representative to contest an election.
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’s case concerns his speech at a book launch in 2009. At that event, he had spoken on the topic ‘Eezhathil nadappathenna’ (what is happening in Eelam). He said that action against LTTE must be stopped if India wants to remain a unified country.
A case was registered at the Thousand Lights police station against Vaiko 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.
A chargesheet was filed in the case in 2009. Vaiko, however, was not arrested until April 2017, where he was sent to Puzhal jail. He was released on bail after spending a month in jail.
Vaiko served as Rajya Sabha MP between 1978 and 1996. He is eyeing for comeback in the election scheduled on July 18 in Tamil Nadu. Vaiko’s party has no representation in the Tamil Nadu assembly. He has been offered support by the DMK.