Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Centre directed to counter Vaiko's LTTE plea

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to file its counter affidavit to a petition by MDMK General Secretary Vaiko challenging the order of a tribunal confirming the ban on LTTE.

"I am a supporter of the LTTE and sympathiser of the LTTE," Vaiko said arguing in person when Chief Justice MY Eqbal asked him about his locus standi to challenge the order upholding extension of ban on the outfit.

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal headed by Justice Vikramjit Sen had confirmed the ban on November 12 after holding public hearings.

Vaiko told a bench comprising Justices Eqbal and TS Sivagnanam that the tribunal order was contrary to provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, opposed to principles of natural justice, vitiated by error of law on the face of the record and was liable to be quashed.
Vaiko said his application seeking for impleading himself in the proceedings was rejected by the tribunal and hence the public hearing conducted thereafter was not sustainable. 

"I am affected party in the case. Aggrieved over the tribunal order, I am challenging it," Vaiko, who had been detained in the past on charges of sedition for his pro-LTTE stand, said. 

Additional Solicitor General M Ravindran said according to Section 6 of the Act any person could approach the Centre with an application for recalling the (ban) declaration. 

But Vaiko argued this was no effective remedy to him. 

The Bench then told the Additional Solicitor General to file a counter affidavitand posted the case after three weeks. 

LTTE was declared an Unlawful Association by a central notification on May 24, 1992, an year after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the outfit's sucide bomber during an election meeting in Tamil Nadu. The ban has been extended after every two years with the tribunal confirming it.

The latest declaration extending the ban was issued in May last by the Union Home Ministry which had said despite its decimation, LTTE was re-grouping in Tamil Nadu and remnant of its cadres could use India, especially the state, as a rear base for this purpose. 

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