The Supreme Court declined to grant a stay on the criminal proceedings initiated against the individual accused of delivering an inflammatory speech and making threats against the Judges of the Karnataka High Court who delivered the judgment in cases challenging the imposition of restrictions on wearing hijab in state-run schools in Karnataka.

The bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice S.V.N. Bhatti was dealing with a Writ Petition seeking the quashing of the second FIR filed against the accused individual in Karnataka, under Sections 153A, 505(1)(b), 505(1)(c), 505 (2), 506 (1) and 109 of the Indian Penal Code, on the ground that an FIR had already been registered registered in Tamil Nadu.

It was submitted in the Writ Petition that the Petitioner would be put to tremendous hardship and would be impossible for the Petitioner to approach various courts/police stations in two different states in respect of such FIRs. It was also submitted that the continuation of investigation in both the FIRs parallel by two different investigating agencies would tantamount to abuse of due process.

Senior Advocate R. Basant, appearing for the petitioner, along with Advocate-on-Record A. Velan, requested the Court to stay the proceedings. Basant stated, "I have been running from pillar to post; kindly grant a stay on the proceedings." However, Justice Khanna responded, "No. Mr Basant, we have applied our mind to that. We will not repeat that. We have considered that and it is not possible. We are not inclined to stay it."

The Bench stated that it won't interfere with the proceedings. "Proceedings are continuing let them continue", stated Justice Khanna. Accordingly, the Court ordered, "The Respondents that are the State of Tamil Nadu and the State of Karnataka will file chargesheets within a period of 3 weeks from today. If required English translation of chargesheets will be filed."

The Madras High Court had while dealing with the anticipatory bail applications of the accused stated that the incident is "an open and dangerous attack on the strongest pillar of the Constitution, the Judiciary". The High Court noted that the speakers had given an "open threat of murder" to the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court and the other two Judges who passed the judgment in the cases filed challenging the restriction imposed on wearing hijab in Karnataka state-run schools.

The Court also noted that in the speech, a reference was made to the incident in which the Additional District Judge of Dhanbad District was killed while he was walking and according to them, an auto rickshaw had intentionally run over and killed the said Judge.

"They have not only threatened the Judges of the High Court who gave the verdict, but also the Judges of the Hon'ble Supreme Court who are going to hear the appeals and pronounce the judgment. The speaker went to the extent of threatening the judges of Supreme Court that in case, if the judgment is not in their favour, they would face major accidents somewhere and if any accident, murder or any other untoward incident happens to them, they are responsible for the same", stated the High Court's order.

Later, challenging the multiple FIRs, the Petitioner approached the Apex Court. It was submitted in the Writ Petition that it is a trite principle of law that a second FIR is not maintainable on the basis of the same set of facts. The Petitioner stated that the Court has reiterated this principle of law in a catena of cases and relied on TT Antony v State of Kerala (2001) 6 SCC 181 and Arnab Ranjan Goswami v UOI W.P.(Crl) 130 of 2020.

Cause Title: Rahamathulla v. the State Of Tamil Nadu And Ors. [Diary No.- 9757 - 2022]