The Madras High Court on Friday rejected a plea of a Tamil Nadu Sports Minister seeking suspension of his three-year imprisonment term and his conviction in the 1998 riot case.
Balakrishna Reddy was sentenced to an imprisonment term of three years and a fine of Rs. 10,000 was levied by the special court for MPs and MLAs, trying cases against people’s representatives on January 7. Special Court Judge J Santhi found the ex-minister guilty of violating the law under Sections 147 (rioting), 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC and Section 3 of the Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act.
Reddy filed a memo before the Trial Court, which in turn suspended his sentence for a period of 30 days and allowed him to appeal at the Madras High Court. Reddy had also resigned from the Council of Minister's post his conviction. However, as per the provisions which govern statutory disqualification of the Representation of People Act, an elected representative who is convicted, already stands disqualified.
His plea to the Madras High Court seeking suspension from his conviction and imprisonment was rejected by Justice V Parthiban stating, “This Court is unable to comprehend as to how a yesteryear law breaker can rightfully claim to continue as a law framer in the teeth of the conviction, by seeking indulgence of this Court to suspend the conviction (sic)."
The case is about the 1998 riots in Bagalur village near Hosur of Krishnagiri district against the illegal sale liquor which claimed many lives. Around 150 villagers had protested and rioted in front of the Bagalur Police station showing their dissatisfaction. A few police personnel were also injured during the protest and public transport buses, as well as police vehicles, were also set to fire when the protest turned violent. Balakrishna along with 107 others was arrested for the case.