By THE TIMES OF INDIA –
CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Wednesday reserved orders on petitions to vacate a central government order, dated May 14, 2010, extending the ban on the LTTE by two more years. A division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice M Venugopal reserved the verdict without mentioning any date.
The ban on the Sri Lankan extremist organisation, which has been in force since 1992, was re-issued by the Centre on May 14, 2010. The matter was referred to a statutory panel headed by high court judge Justice Vikramjit Sen for ratification. In November 2010, the tribunal rejected the pleas of MDMK leader Vaiko and others to lift the ban on the ground that no member of the banned organisation 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 the ban in India was unjustified because the organisation never sought to annex any part of India to 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 Tamil Nadu government adopted the Centre’s stand on the issue.