"You are converting us into a police station": Supreme Court, while issuing notice in plea against hate speech by Udhaynidhi Stalin, others

Read Time: 07 minutes

The Supreme Court today issued notice in a plea by a Madras High Court lawyer seeking action against Udhaynidhi Stalin for hate speech against Sanatana Dharma. While doing so, it refused to tag the case with the ongoing Haridwar hate speech petitions [Shaheen Abdulla Vs. UOI], while pointing out that the context of this case is different.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi asked the petitioner initially, to approach the high court instead but later said that notice be issued in the case. The bench also noted that the petition was effectively "converting the Supreme Court into a police station". One of the prayers in the plea is to register FIRs against Udhaynidhi Stalin, PK Sekar Babu & Peter Alphonse for their participation in the meeting titled “Sanatana Dharma Eradication conference” held on September 2, 2023. A direction has also been sought that the Director General of Police of the State of Tamil Nadu immediately Registers First Information Report against the organisers of the said conference.

"This is rabble rousing against a particular religion, despite there being interim directions, said the lawyer for the petitioner," the lawyer said.

"Which interim directions?," asked the bench. The lawyer pointed out that on April 28, 2023, the Supreme Court has directed all States/UTs to register suo motu FIRs in offences such as Section 153A, 153B, 295A and 506 of IPC etc, without any complaint being filed. The court had also then clarified that the action would be taken in cases of hate speech, irrespective of the religion of the person who made the speech.

"But that is a different issue and at the time, this speech was not made. You are converting us into a police station. Why can't you go to the high court?" the Court said.

On September 15, a CJI DY Chandrachud led bench of the Supreme Court had refused to urgently hear a PIL filed against Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin over his recent remarks made on 'Sanatan Dharma'. The CJI had refused to hear the plea filed by a Madras High Court lawyer saying that he had not come under the urgent mentioning list and he had to follow the Standard Operating Procedure circulated by the court.

Earlier this month, a plea was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the police, for registering an FIR against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin's son Udhayanidhi and former Union Minister A Raja for their "derogatory remarks" and call for "eradication of Sanatan Dharma".


On September 5, former judges, government officials and war veterans have written to the Chief Justice of India, requesting him to take suo moto cognizance of the hate speech made by Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin on 'Sanatan Dharma', basis the order passed in the Shaheen Abdulla case. CJI Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud has been told that Stalin Jr.'s comments could incite communal disharmony and sectarian violence.


An application was also filed in the Supreme Court seeking contempt action against Director General of Police of Tamil Nadu and Kerala for their "blatant disregard" to previous top court's orders and failing to lodge FIR in cases of hate speech, in light of recent remarks on Sanatana Dharma by ruling DMK leaders and Assembly speaker respectively.


Case Title: B Jagannath vs. State of Tamil Nadu