The Supreme Court has dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Campaign against Hate Speech challenging the interim stay of proceedings against BJP MP Tejasvi Surya in FIR registered under Sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 123 (3A) of the Representation of People Act for allegedly posting objectionable tweets. The Court dismissed the matter as withdrawn and asked the petitioner to move the Karnataka High Court with an appropriate application.

The Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta said, "Move before the High Court, not directly before us. It’s an interim stay."

Advocate Shadan Farasat, appearing for the Petitioner, contended that the investigation itself has been stayed by the Karnataka High Court. He also sought liberty to move the High Court. However, he contended that the High Court has taken a view.

To this, Justice Khanna said, "What is this? You directly move the High Court. They have taken a view but this is an interim order…they may have taken a view but…everybody just keeps on rushing to this court, as if….every day HC takes a view, we also take a view. Suppose we take a view; suppose we take a view to issue notice today. Isn’t that a view, obviously, but that is an interim view?"

Thereafter, Farasat sought permission to withdraw the SLP and move the High Court.

Accordingly, while allowing the Petitioner to withdraw the SLP, the Court ordered, "The Petitioner can move the High Court by way of an appropriate application; the SLP is dismissed as withdrawn.”

Pertinently, on March 22, the Karnataka High Court had stayed further investigation in an FIR registered against the BJP MP Tejasvi Surya for allegedly posting objectionable tweets.

On perusal of the subject tweet, the Single-Judge Bench of the High Court had noted that it 'prima facie' is faith-neutral, and therefore, Section 153 A of the IPC could not be invoked. "After all, our democratic polity warrants public discussion/debate on and intelligent participation in the public affairs. The beauty of our ‘Rainbow Constitution’ is that it is like a market place of plural views, ideas & opinions, at times conflicting with each other," the Court had observed.

On March 18, Surya had posted a tweet on the 'X' social media platform, which reads as follows: “A Hindu shopkeeper who was playing bhajans at his shop was assaulted by anti social elements, saying bhajans aren’t allowed during time of ‘azaan’. The emboldening of such elements is a direct result of Congress’s appeasement politics. Just a few days back, people who shouted Pakistan Zindabad were given bail. With such political backing available to jihadis, naturally, such incidents of crime against Hindus have risen in our State. CM must stop setting wrong precedents. I call upon him to update the State on what action is initiated against the miscreants on this case.”

Cause Title: Campaign against Hate Speech v. L.S. Tejasvi Surya [Diary No. 21706 / 2024]