In an embarrassing situation to the Tamil Nadu government, it’s Sports Minister P Balakrishna Reddy was convicted by a special court in a 1998 arson case, against MLAs and MPs. The court sentenced him to a three year imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs10,000.
After the court pronounced its order, the Sports Minister moved a memo against the conviction. The trial judge suspended his sentencing and has asked the Minister to appeal before the Madras High Court within 30 days.
If an elected representative is convicted, he stands disqualified as per the provisions governing statutory disqualification of the Representation of People Act.
The case related to a protest against the sale of illicit liquor in Krishnagiri district in 1998, when clashes between the public and police turned violent and there was damage to public property and the police vehicle too was set on fire. A case was filed against Balakrishna Reddy and 108 others.
Since Balakrishna Reddy is an elected representative, the case was transferred to the special court in Chennai. The main accused Govind Reddy was awarded a five year imprisonment and also handed a fine of Rs 37,000.