Madras HC reserves orders on petitions seeking lifting of ban on LTTE in India

The Madras high court on Wednesday reserved orders on petitions seeking lof ifting the ban on LTTE in India. The MDMK leader Vaiko, who had moved the high court against the ban, told newspersons later even though the statue of Mahatma Gandhi had been vandalized and desecrated in Sri Lanka, the government of India had not condemned the incident. "It is shameful that India has not even whispered against the desecration," Vaiko said.

He was in court to argue petitions against the Centre’s ban order against the LTTE. The government of India banned the LTTE by an order dated May 14, 2010, and the matter was referred to a statutory panel headed by a high court judge, Justice Vikramjit Sen for ratification. In November 2010, the tribunal rejected the pleas of Vaiko and others, on the ground that no member of the banned organization had challenged the ban.

Justice Sen had said: "Indian soil is being used for unlawful activities propelled by the remnant cadres of the LTTE. There is sufficient material to declare the LTTE as unlawful association as contemplated under the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act. Illegal immigration of LTTE cadres through coastal areas, smuggling of narcotics to raise funds and supply of fuel and explosives from the Indian soil are all evidence of the active presence of LTTE in India." The present petitions were directed against the tribunal’s finding.

Vaiko told the court that LTTE ban in India was unjustified because it never sought to annex any part of India with the proposed Tamil Eelam. Advocate M Radhakrishnan, who represented another petitioner, P Pugalenthi of Prisoners Rights Forum, also opposed the ban and wanted it to be quashed.

Additional solicitor-general of south India M Ravindran, representing the Centre, said no member of the banned outfit had challenged the validity of the ban and that Vaiko and others had been rightly declared as persons without any locus standi by the tribunal.

Advocate-general A Navaneethakrishnan informed the court that the government of Tamil Nadu adopted the Centre’s stand on the issue, prompting Justice Elipe Dharma Rao, "you are supporting the Centre, finally."

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