NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a plea by an advocate of Madras High Court seeking a direction for CBI investigation and inquiry into a meeting held on September 2 as 'Sanatana Dharma Eradication conference' and lodging of an FIR against Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin for his derogatory remarks.
A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi decided to seek response on the plea filed by
B Jagannath even after observing that the petitioner should have approached the High Court.
"Why don't you approach the HC? You are transforming this court to a police station," the bench told senior advocate Dama Seshadri Naidu appearing for the petitioner.
The counsel, however, said it was not a case an individual ranting against a religion but a constitutional authority as a minister making derogatory remarks against the other religion.
He requested the court to tag the instant matter to the pending cases of hate speech.
The court, however, said no tagging at the moment and issued notice.
Besides seeking FIR, the petitioner also sought injunction against Udhyanidhi, son of TN Chief Minister M K Stalin, Peter Alphonse, A Raja, and Thol Thirumavalavan and their followers against making any further hate speech against Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism.
In his petition, Jagannath said, "There is monumental intolerance, inherent hatred against people professing Sanatana Dharma in Tamil Nadu and when the Chief Minister himself leads the State in this manner, there is very clear evidence of breakdown of constitutional machinery and atmosphere of hatred, violence and fear and panic has been created with even the Chief Minister's son calling for eradication of Sanatana Dharma and that's proof enough for this Court to take action as a custodian and trustee for all those affected as a result of this action and Hate Speech."
It is to be noted that Udhyanidhi has accepted that he is a Proud Christian and he specifically called for eradication of Sanatana Dharma, he pointed out.
The petitioner sought a declaration that participation of the state ministers in the meeting titled as Sanatana Dharma Eradication conference held on September 2, 2023 was unconstitutional and violative of Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution.
He also sought a direction against the Tamil Nadu State Government Higher Education Department that in all secondary schools none of these conferences against any Hindu Dharma should take place as per the Supreme Court judgement in Hijab case of Karnataka.
The plea urged the apex court to immediately direct the state Director General of Police to submit a report as to how the conference was given police permission and why no action has been taken against the perpetrators and organisation responsible for the said conference.
The plea sought a direction to the home secretary and the Director General of Police of the state of Tamil Nadu to immediately appoint a nodal officer for hate speech as per the Supreme Court 2018 judgement.
The petitioner contended that it is not known whether any permission was granted by the Tamil Nadu Police department for conducting such conferences as the heading and title suggests the same is being done for eradication of a particular religion.
“If the police had indeed granted permission, they have the responsibility and duty to inform to this court whether there was political interference to the police department in granting such permission for such conferences and if there was no permission granted, how come the organisers have not been arrested till date,” the plea asked.
The plea claimed a movement is on in the state for holding meetings and conferences to speak ill of Sanatana Dharma under the guise of registering voices of opposition against the said Dharma.
"It is a State sponsored and backed propaganda against one particular religion. The state itself is sponsoring the ill idea and now they have taken the young aged people viz students in their hands," it said.
Advocate Vineet Jindal has earlier also filed an application in a batch of matters related to hate speech in the court seeking lodging of FIR against Udhayanidhi and A Raja for their remarks.