Vaiko not aggrieved person to challenge ban on LTTE: MHA

Chennai: The Union Home Ministry on Thursday told the Madras High Court that MDMK general secretary Vaiko is not an aggrieved person to challenge a tribunal's order confirming a central government's notification extending ban on the LTTE.

In its counter to his petition, the Centre said Vaiko had no locus standi to appear before the tribunal or to seek intervention. Unless the petitioner proved with supporting evidence to demonstrate that he was an aggrieved person, his writ petition was not maintainable, it was contended.

The Centre objected to the petitioner's claim that the LTTE's objective was not for establishing an independent sovereign state for all Tamils living in the entire world but only for Tamils in Sri Lanka and therefore there was no threat to India's sovereignty.

"Vaiko is neither an office-bearer nor an LTTE member. He is not the organisation's spokesman," the Centre said in its affidavit.

It was submitted in the affidavit that the LTTE's objectives spoke of all Tamils irrespective of the geographical distinction.

An inference was irresistible that when immediate struggle of the organisation was against the Sri Lankan government for establishing Tamil Eelam in the north and east of the island, its ultimate objective was to form a larger Tamil country, including areas of India where Tamils lived, the Centre said.

In a separate counter to a petition by 'Prisoners' Rights Forum,' a forum fighting for the rights of Lankan Tamils, the Centre said the petitioner was not the aggrieved person within ambit of the Act and the Madras High Court did not have territorial jurisdiction to entertain the present petition.

Vaiko and Prisoners Rights Forum had challenged the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, headed by Justice Vikramjit Sen, which had passed an order last November last confirming Central government's notification, banning LTTE.

LTTE was first declared an unlawful association by a notification on May 24, 1992 and thereafter the ban has been extended periodically by subsequent notifications. All the declarations were confirmed by the Tribunal, constituted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

When the matter came up before the first bench, comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam, the Additional Solicitor-General of India, M Ravindran filed the counter on behalf of Virendra Kumar, Under Secretary in the Union Home Ministry.

Vaiko, who is party in person, was present in the court. The Bench adjourned the case to February 10 for further hearing.