Pro-LTTE groups seek to implead themselves before tribunal: Report

Pro-LTTE groups seek to implead themselves before tribunal: Report

October 6, 2010   02:01 am


CHENNAI: Sympathisers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Tuesday sought to implead themselves as parties in the proceedings of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal headed by Delhi High Court Judge Vikramjit Sen.



At the tribunal’s sitting here, N. Chandrasekaran representing the Tamilar Desiya Iyakkam (TDI) said he was an ‘aggrieved’ party and had the locus standi to represent in the case. The TDI was declared an unlawful association by the government for the sole reason that it was supporting the LTTE.



“We have filed two writ petitions in the Madras High Court challenging the ban and the constitutionality of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. We want to remove the ban on the LTTE so that we can approach the High Court to lift the ban on our organisation. Though different cases, they are inter-connected,” he said.



Additional Solicitor-General Amarjit Singh Chandhiok representing the Union government said the issue of whether the TDI was banned for supporting the LTTE was a matter pending before the High Court. The State was well within its powers in banning the organisation considering public order, he said.



To this, Mr. Chandrasekaran said hundreds of cases booked against supporters of the LTTE had ended in acquittal. “When TDI leader P. Nedumaran and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), the Supreme Court ruled that mere support extended to a banned organisation was not an offence,” he said.



Seeking to participate in the proceedings, Mr. Chandrasekaran said the representatives of the Central and State governments should be allowed for cross-examination.



The Tamil Nadu People’s Rights Forum, represented by its advocate M. Radhakrishnan, said the Tribunal should have its sitting in Sri Lanka as the Centre in its notification had mentioned that the LTTE was based in that country. Since the LTTE did not have an office or office-bearer in India, only its sympathisers or supporters could represent its case.



While claiming locus standi in the hearing, Mr. Radhakrishnan went one step ahead and said a former LTTE cadre had authorised him to represent before the Tribunal.



According to him Joseph Robinson, a former LTTE cadre based in London, had sent an email asking him to appear on his behalf and argue for lifting the ban on the LTTE. When Mr. Justice Sen went through a copy of the email and wanted to know its veracity, the advocate said he would produce all relevant documents, including the Power of Attorney. In view of the claim made by the Centre that the LTTE did not exist, the Tribunal could only listen to the views of its sympathisers, supporters or agents.



Vaiko’s charge


Speaking to reporters at the venue, Mr. Vaiko said the State government was using the ban on the LTTE to frame cases against those supporting the cause of Tamil Eelam. “I am facing two cases on charges of sedition. The ground on which the government seeks to extend the ban on the LTTE is baseless and unjustified. There is enough evidence to prove that the ban is illegal,” he said.



Accusing the government of trying to stifle the voice of those supporting Tamil Eelam, he said innocent people fleeing from Sri Lankato Tamil Nadu were branded as LTTE cadres and forced to return or stay in special camps.



Mr. Vaiko said the Judge while dismissing his plea to be impleaded as a party had noted that he would allow any person with credibility to represent provided the views differed with that of the government. “It is on these grounds that I have sought representation,” he said.



The State was represented by the Superintendent of Police (‘Q’ Branch CID) Ashok Kumar who stated that all relevant documents seeking the extension of ban on the LTTE were already filed before the Tribunal.



On the representations made during the hearing Mr. Justice Sen reserved his orders. – (The Hindu)

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