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SC seeks states’ response on Udhayanidhi Stalin plea to club FIRs

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to various state governments on the amended plea filed by Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin seeking to club the FIRs registered against him for his alleged remarks on Sanatana Dharma.

A two-judge bench of the top court, led by Justice sanjiv khanna and also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta allowed Udhayanidhi Stalin’s amended application and issued notices to Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar amd Karnataka and asked them to file their respective replies to it.

In the previous hearing, the Court had objected to the filing of the petition under Article 32 and asked Stalin to amend his plea to bring it under section 406 (power of Supreme Court to transfer cases and appeals) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Udhayanidhi Stalin had in September last year in one of his speeches compared ‘Sanatana Dharma’ to diseases like ‘malaria’ and ‘dengue’. He also advocated for its elimination on grounds that it was rooted in the caste system and historical discrimination.

Following this, several criminal complaints were registered against Udhayanidhi as well as pleas being filed in the Supreme Court seeking action against him.

In one of the hearings on March 4, the apex court pulled up Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin for his alleged “Sanatana Dharma” remarks, and observed that you are not a layman, you are a minister, and you should know the consequences of saying all these, while hearing his plea seeking clubbing of FIRs registered against him in various states.

“You (Udhayanidhi Stalin) abused freedom of speech & religion,” SC had slammed the DMK leader and son of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M K Stalin, for his alleged remarks.

The apex court also questioned Udhayanidhi, the son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister- M K Stalin, as to why he has moved the top court under Article 32 of the Indian constitution, after abusing Article 19(1) (a) & 25 through his speech.

“You are not a layman. You are a minister. You should know the consequences,” the SC had told him.

The accused, Stalin had moved apex court seeking clubbing of multiple FIRs registered against him in several states — Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar amd Karnataka — over his alleged remarks.

Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior lawyer and former Solicitor General (SG) of India appearing for Stalin, pleaded that he is not justifying Stalin’s comments at all. He said that he is facing many FIRs in six states and is only seeking to consolidate them.

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