Expression of support to LTTE not an offence: Karunanidhi

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 February 2008, 16:55 GMT]
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday reiterated that mere expression of support to the LTTE was not an offence as per an observation of the Indian Supreme Court. He admonished Opposition leader Jayalalithaa for misleading the people on this issue.

He said that when a Congress member C Gnanasekaran had raised the issue and demanded action against Viduthalai Chiruththaikal Kadchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan for organising a conference in support of LTTE, the Government could not take any hasty action as the apex court itself had said mere expression of support to a banned organisation would not be liable for penal action. When Jayalalithaa came to the House the next day and countered him saying he had misled the House by incorrectly citing the Supreme Court judgment, Law and Public Works Minister Duraimurugan read out the relevant portions of the order, but she was not willing to listen, Karunanidhi alleged.

The order produced by Mr Justices S Rajendra Babu and G P Mathur stated - offence under Section 3(1) of POTA will be constituted only if it is done with an 'intent'. If Parliament stipulates that the 'Terrorist Act' itself had to be committed with the criminal intention, can it be said that a person who 'professes' (as under Section 20) or 'invites support' or 'arranges, manages, or assists in arranging or managing a meeting' or 'addresses a meeting' (as under Section 21) has committed the offence if he does not have an intention or design to further the activities of any terrorist organisation or the commission of Terrorist Acts? We are clear that it is not.


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