The Madras High Court on Friday refused to stay the conviction of AIADMK leader K Balakrishna Reddy in a rioting case of 1998 by a special court leading to his disqualification and consequent exit from the Ministry.
Dismissing his plea to stay the conviction and suspend the sentence to enable him to save his seat, Justice V Parthiban said it had been proven that he was part of an unlawful assembly which attacked police and burnt jeeps and Government buses in Hosur and he had to suffer the consequence of his action though it might have caught up with him 20 years later.
The case related to violence that broke out during a protest led by Reddy against illicit distillation in Hosur after some hooch deaths occurred.
The judge also rejected Reddy’s contention that only one witness, a head constable, had identified as among those who were in the unlawful assembly that rioted. Though he was a solitary witness, his evidence was cogent, the judge noted
The court also rejected the argument that he was not an MLA at the time of the incident and that he became an AIADMK legislator only in 2016. Reddy was able to contest and even win in 2016 because this criminal case was pending in sessions court at that time.
The judge directed the registry to post for February Reddy’s criminal appeal against the conviction handed down by a special court set up to try cases against MPs and MLAs.
Now Reddy can go in appeal to the Supreme Court to seek interim relief or wait for the normal time for disposal of his appeal in the high court and the apex court. Either way, his chances of getting an acquittal and getting back into the Assembly before its term ends in 2011 are remote.