Home News Supreme Court Issues Notice to Udhayanidhi Stalin Over His ‘End Sanatan Dharma’ Remark

Supreme Court Issues Notice to Udhayanidhi Stalin Over His ‘End Sanatan Dharma’ Remark

by khushahal vishwakarma
Udhayanidhi Stalin

The bench of the Supreme Court has issued notices to the state government and Udhayanidhi Stalin, even suggesting that the petitioner had the option to approach the jurisdictional High Court in the first instance.

On Friday, the Supreme Court’s bench sought a response from the Tamil Nadu government and Udhayanidhi Stalin, the state’s Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, and the son of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, in response to a petition. The petition had demanded the filing of an FIR against Udhayanidhi for his earlier comments regarding the ‘Sanatan Dharma,’ claiming it opposes social justice and should be abolished.

Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M. Trivedi of the Supreme Court issued notices to the state government and Udhayanidhi Stalin and suggested that the petitioner had the option to approach the jurisdictional High Court in the first instance.

“Why are you here? You should go to the High Court. Your prayer is for the registration of an FIR. You are changing us into a police station,” the bench said, equally capable of passing orders of the High Court with territorial jurisdiction, as per the petitioner’s request.

However, senior counsel representing the petitioner explained that a group of cases related to hate speeches was pending before the Supreme Court. “When the state itself indulges in persecution against a particular religion and forces children to speak against a particular religion, then the Supreme Court is the only recourse. The state officers had issued a communication two days ago stating that children would speak against Sanatan Dharma,” he said.

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The senior counsel argued that this is a case where a constitutional functionary is inciting religious sentiments and therefore, the apex court should step in.

Initially, the bench also said that the complaint made in the Jagannath case was similar to the petitions seeking action against the hate speeches. “When the state itself indulges in persecution against a particular religion and forces children to speak against a particular religion, then the Supreme Court is the only recourse. The state officers had issued a communication two days ago stating that children would speak against Sanatan Dharma,” the bench noted.

The senior counsel said that it is a case where a constitutional functionary is provoking religious sentiments and therefore, the Supreme Court should take cognizance.

While his remarks have sparked significant political controversy, with several leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacking Udhayanidhi for his contentious comments, the minister later stated that he stands by his words and is “ready to face any legal challenge.”

On September 7, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu defended his cabinet colleague and son’s statements, stating that his intention was to focus on principles that discriminate against Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and women.

In the Jagannath case before the Supreme Court, allegations were made that the September 2 conference was organized to incite and target a particular religion, referred to as ‘Sanatan Dharma.’ The petition argued that this constituted ‘hate speech,’ and demanded action against Udhayanidhi and the organizers. It was contended in the petition that if no priority has been accorded to the petitioner’s approach against Udhayanidhi and the organizers, then it is evident that there is a preconceived bias, discrimination, and prejudice against the Hindus in the state.

The petitioner’s senior counsel highlighted that in a judgment in 2018, the Supreme Court made it mandatory for state governments to appoint a nodal officer to monitor compliance with the comprehensive directions and preventive measures taken by the Centre and states to curb mob lynching and hate speeches.

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