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SC: Stalin Jr’s Sanatan remark abuse of fundamental rights

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday gave a mouthful to TN minister

Udhayanidhi Stalin

for seeking either quashing or clubbing at one place of six FIRs filed in five states for his alleged hate speech for eradication of ‘Sanatan Dharma’.
A bench of Justices

Sanjiv Khanna

and Dipankar Datta tersely told Udhayanidhi: “You abuse your right under Art 19 (guaranteeing free speech) and Art 25 (freedom to practice and profess any religion) and then come to Supreme Court invoking Art 32 (right to approach SC directly for breach of fundamental right).”

Justice Datta

said, “You (Udhayanidhi) is not a layman. You are a minister. You know the consequences of your utterances.”
An FIR each has been lodged in UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka and J&K while two were filed in Bihar against TN minister, who is son of CM

M K Stalin

. The FIRs had accused Stalin Jr of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus by allegedly comparing ‘Sanatan Dharma’ with dengue, malaria and corona and calling for its eradication the way diseases are being eradicated.
Stalin’s counsel A M Singhvi said the SC in a string of judgments, relating to multiple FIRs lodged against Arnab Goswami,

Mohd Zubair

, and Nupur Sharma on same statements by each of them, had ordered clubbing of multiple FIRs against each of them at one place. “We are not seeking quashing of FIRsbut their clubbing at a place in a neutral state,” he said.

Justice Khanna said, “Yo ugo before concerned HCs and seek quashing of the FIRs. If you face difficulty, you can approach SC.” Justice Datta asked, “Why should a complainant in a case lodged in J&K, go to Tamil Nadu?” Singhvi pleaded that all FIRs emanate from the same statement, which was made not at a public place but a closed-door meeting as a guest speaker at a “Sanadhan Abolition Conclave” organised by Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Association in Chennai on Sept2 last year.
He said SC can club the FIRs at one place outside TN in a neutral state and that “ Udhayanidhi will suffer his fate by seeking quashing of the consolidated FIR before the concerned HC”. The bench relented and asked Singhvi to place all the relevant judgments on record while p osting the next hearing on March 15.

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