The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to consider another plea lodging an FIR against Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin over his controversial remarks about 'Sanatan Dharma'.
The top court brushed aside strong opposition by the Tamil Nadu government and tagged the plea with a pending petition on which a notice was issued last week.
Udhayanidhi is son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin.
On Wednesday, hearing a plea by advocate Vineet Jindal, a bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi said that it would not be issuing notice on this petition, but merely tagging it with the other plea.
Jindal alleged that Stalin’s comments constituted hate speech and asked the court to initiate criminal proceedings against him for hurting religious sentiments.
Tamil Nadu's Additional Advocate General Amit Anand Tiwari opposed the plea and asked the court to not entertain it.
Tiwari said these are public interest litigations in the nature of publicity interest litigation and there are several writ petitions filed across the country in different high courts.
“This makes it incredibly difficult for the state. Now, everyone is coming up as a public interest litigant for publicity,” he said.
He questioned the need for another petition, when the court had already agreed to hear a similar plea.
The bench, however, said the court is not issuing a notice, but tagging this with the other one.
“We will examine the question of entertaining on the next day,” the bench said.
Advocate Raj Kishore Chaudhary for the petitioner, however, said a genocidal call has been made by the state.
In his plea, Jindal said being a Hindu and Sanatan dharma follower, his religious sentiments are hurt by statements made by Udhayanidhi Stalin calling for eradicating Sanatan dharma and further comparing Sanatan with mosquitoes, dengue, corona, and malaria.
Being a follower of Sanatan Dharma, the petitioner claimed he is deeply concerned over the remarks which undeniably amount to "hate speech".
“His words show his hate towards Sanatan Dharma. He is an MLA and Minister in the Tamil Nadu Government and has taken oath to work as per the constitution of our country and must respect all the regions but he intentionally made a provocative and defamatory statement for the Sanatan Dharma with the intent to promote enmity between groups on the grounds of religion,” the plea said.
The Supreme Court had on September 22 issued notice to Stalin and Tamil Nadu government over his remarks on Sanatan Dharma. The plea was filed by a Madras-based lawyer, B Jagannath seeking registration of an FIR against Stalin and also an injunction against him and his followers not to make any further hate speech against Sanatan Dharma/ Hinduism.