27 Sep 2023 7:10 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Wednesday tagged a petition seeking the registration of a first information report (FIR) against Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin over his controversial remarks about 'Sanatana Dharma', with another plea in which the court issued notice last week.A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi was hearing a writ petition filed by a...
The Supreme Court on Wednesday tagged a petition seeking the registration of a first information report (FIR) against Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin over his controversial remarks about 'Sanatana Dharma', with another plea in which the court issued notice last week.
A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi was hearing a writ petition filed by a Delhi-based lawyer Vineet Jindal alleging that Udhayanidhi’s comments constituted ‘hate speech’ and urging the court to direct criminal proceedings to be initiated against him for hurting religious sentiments.
At the outset of today's hearing, the court clarified that it would not be issuing notice in this petition, but merely tagging it with the other plea. In response, Tamil Nadu Additional Advocate General Amit Anand Tiwari raised concerns about the volume of public interest litigations (PIL) filed over Udhayanidhi's recent remarks -
"These are public interest litigation in the nature of 'publicity interest litigation'. There are 40 writ petitions filed across the country in different high courts. It makes it incredibly difficult for the State. Now everyone is coming up as a public interest litigant for publicity. Then, they will go to the media and circulate these. This is really unfortunate."
AAG Tiwari also questioned the need for another petition, when the court has agreed to hear a similar plea already.
"We are not issuing notice, but tagging this with the other one. We will examine the question of entertaining on the next day," Justice Bose said.
Strongly objecting to the law officer's allegation, Advocate Raj Kishor Choudhary appearing on behalf of the petitioner sought to justify the current writ petition. "A genocidal call has been made by the State," the lawyer exclaimed.
Udhayanidhi Stalin, DMK leader and son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, came under the scanner earlier this month for his remarks comparing 'Sanatana Dharma' to diseases like 'malaria' and 'dengue' while advocating for its elimination on grounds that it was rooted in the caste system and historical discrimination. Not only did this trigger a major political row, but also led to several criminal complaints being filed against Udhayanidhi as well as pleas being filed in the Supreme Court seeking action against him.
In the present petition, Advocate Vineet Jindal stated that his religious sentiments, as a Hindu and adherent of Sanatana Dharma, were offended by Udhayanidhi’s remarks. Jindal alleges that these comments, likening Sanatana Dharma to mosquitoes, dengue, corona, and malaria, constitute hate speech. Accordingly, the Delhi-based lawyer has sought a direction for the registration of an FIR against Udhayanidhi as well as DMK MP A Raja, who also triggered a political row with his alleged remarks against ‘Sanatana Dharma’.
Jindal has further questioned why the Tamil Nadu police has not complied with the Supreme Court’s direction to initiate suo motu criminal proceedings against hate speech and called for contempt of court action against both the Delhi and Chennai police.
In related news, last news, the Supreme Court agreed to hear another plea seeking the initiation of criminal proceedings against Udhayanidhi and others.
Vineet Jindal v. Union of India & Ors. | Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 443 of 2023