Madras HC Asks BJP Minister Shobha Karandlaje How She Claimed Rameshwaram Café Bombers Were Trained In Tamil Nadu Even Before NIA Searches

Upasana Sajeev

11 July 2024 7:19 AM GMT

  • Madras HC Asks BJP Minister Shobha Karandlaje How She Claimed Rameshwaram Café Bombers Were Trained In Tamil Nadu Even Before NIA Searches

    The Madras High Court on Wednesday questioned Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje for her statements linking the bomb blast at Rameswaram Café in Bangalore, to Tamil Nadu. The allegation against Shobha was that in March 2024, after the blasts in Rameshwaram café, she had allegedly remarked “People trained in Tamil Nadu plant bombs here. Bomb was planted at the hotel.” Following...

    The Madras High Court on Wednesday questioned Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje for her statements linking the bomb blast at Rameswaram Café in Bangalore, to Tamil Nadu.

    The allegation against Shobha was that in March 2024, after the blasts in Rameshwaram café, she had allegedly remarked “People trained in Tamil Nadu plant bombs here. Bomb was planted at the hotel.” Following this, one Thiagarajan, a resident of Madurai, lodged a complaint stating that the alleged remark was intended to create enmity and hatred among Tamils and Kannadigas. Following the complaint, Shobha was charged with Sections 153, 153(A), 505(1)(b) and 505(2) of the IPC. Another FIR was also registered in Chickpet Police Station, Bengaluru for the same offence.

    On Wednesday, Justice G Jayachandran asked how the Minister could link the blasts with the people of Tamil Nadu even before the National Investigation Agency conducted its searches. The Court added that if the Minister had any information regarding the blast, as a responsible citizen she should have informed the same to the investigation agency which she didn't.

    Though Karandlaje's counsel urged the Court to allow the interim prayer and stay the ongoing investigation, the Government Advocate opposed the prayer and urged the Court to watch the video clippings of her interview that would show her intention while making the statements. He added that the Minister's statements were intended to create enmity between two groups of people.

    While the Court did not grant any interim relief, it adjourned the case to 12th July, Friday for further hearing. Meanwhile, the Court has asked the prosecution to produce the case diary.

    In her petition, the Minister submitted that the FIRs were filed with ulterior motives and were an abuse of process. She added that she had already retracted her remarks clarifying her intentions and apologizing for the statements. She said putting the criminal law in motion despite this is malicious and hitting the core of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

    Case Title: Shobha Karandlaje v State

    Case No: Crl OP (MD) 9875 of 2024

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