The Supreme Court today came down heavily on Udhayanidhi Stalin, a State Minister and the son of Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister, for his statements advocating for the complete eradication of Sanatana Dharma, drawing parallel with efforts to eradicate diseases like Dengue, Malaria, and Covid.

The Bench told Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Stalin that he abused his fundamental right under Articles 19(1)a and 25 of the Constitution of India, and that being a Minister he should have been aware of the consequences of his speech, while approaching the Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.

A Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta has adjourned the matter till next Friday.

During the hearing today, Singhvi while submitting that FIRs have been registered against the Minister in the State of Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore, Mumbai, Patna Jammu and Kashmir, sought clubbing of the FIRs.

To which, Justice Datta immediately said, “Dr Singhvi, you abuse your (Article) 19(1)a Right, you abuse Article 25, and now you are coming here under Article 32? Don’t you know the consequences of what you have said?”.

In response, Singhvi said that he was not on merits but was only seeking clubbing of the FIRs. Further, when the Court enquired, Singhvi apprised the Bench that in one case, charge-sheet had been filed.

“You move before the High Court and get it clubbed if you want”, said Justice Khanna.

Pursuant to this, Singhvi cited the judgments in the cases of Arnab Goswami, Md Zubair and Nupur Sharma, where the Supreme Court had allowed FIRs to be clubbed.

“If I move before 6 High Courts, I will be constantly in pain…I understand your Lordships’ angst”, submitted Singhvi.

Responding to the statement, Justice Datta said, “You are not a layman. You are a Minister, you should have realised what could be the consequence…”.

“(Article) 32 is not for this purpose”, added Justice Datta.

The Court then adjourned the matter stating that it wants to look at the judgments and provisions cited by the Petitioner.

Earlier, an interlocutory application was filed before the Apex Court seeking registration of FIR against Stalin and Member of Parliament from DMK and former Union Minister A. Raja who had made similar remarks as Stalin. An FIR has been registered in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh against Udhayanidhi Stalin and Priyank Kharge, the son of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge for their alleged hate speech against Sanatan Dharma.

Prior to that, a letter was addressed to Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud by a group of concerned individuals including the retired Judges of several High Courts and bureaucrats seeking judicial intervention of the Apex Court in the matter of hate speech made by Udhayanidhi Stalin. Various others across the country have approached authorities seeking FIR against Stalin.

Cause Title: Udhayanidhi Stalin v. The State Of Maharashtra And Ors.