"Do you not know the consequences of what you said?", Top Court asks Udhaynidhi Stalin over 'Sanatan Dharma' remarks

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The division bench asked Stalin as to why he had moved the supreme court after abusing his right of freedom of speech and expression

The Supreme Court today came down heavily on Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin over his remarks made on 'Sanatan Dharma'.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta further observed that he being a Minister, Stalin should have known the consequences of his remark.

"You abuse your right under Article 19(1)(a) (of the Constitution). You abuse your right under Article 25. Now you are exercising your right under Article 32.. Do you not know the consequences of what you said? You are not a layman. You are a minister. You should know the consequences," Justice Datta said.

Stalin, a serving Minister in the Tamil Nadu State Government, while addressing a press conference in Chennai had stated: “Few things cannot be opposed, they should be abolished. We can’t oppose dengue, mosquitoes, malaria, or corona, we have to eradicate them. In the same way, we have to eradicate the Sanatana (Sanatan Dharma), rather than opposing it”.

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi appeared on behalf of Stalin in his plea seeking to club the FIRs registered against him in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

When the bench advised Stalin to move the concerned high courts, Singhvi responded saying, "I have to move six high courts, I'll constantly be tied up in this...This is persecution before the prosecution."

After a lot of deliberation, the bench posted the plea to next Friday, asking Singhvi to place on record the precedents.

Supreme Court in September last year had 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 plea has 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".

Case Title: Udhayanidhi Stalin vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors.

Source: PTI