Hate Speech Against Sanatan Dharma- Take Suo Moto Notice Of Contempt, Ensure Accountability Of Tamil Nadu Govt: Retired Judges Write To CJI
In a sternly worded letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, a group of concerned individuals including the retired Judges of several High Courts and bureaucrats have sought judicial intervention of the Apex Court in the matter of hate speech made by Udhayanidhi Stalin, the son of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The letter highlights the gravity of the situation and calls for immediate action to uphold the principles of justice, secularism, and the rule of law in the country.
The letter begins by detailing the controversial statements made by Udhayanidhi Stalin during a press conference in Chennai. "A few days ago, Shri Udhayanidhi Stalin, a serving Minister in the Tamil Nadu State Government, while addressing a press conference in Chennai stated: “Few things cannot be opposed, they should be abolished. We can’t oppose dengue, mosquitoes, malaria, or corona, we have to eradicate them. In the same way, we have to eradicate the Sanatana (Sanatan Dharma), rather than opposing it”. He further deliberately remarked that Sanatana Dharma enslaved women and did not allow them to step out of their homes", reads the letter.
Various complaints have already been filed before authorities across the country in relation to the said speech. However, no FIR has been registered anywhere so far. (read report)
Justice K Sreedhar Rao, Former Chief Justice Telangana High Court, Justice S M Soni, Former Judge of Gujarat & Lokayukt state of Gujarat, Justice S.N Dhingra, Former Judge of Delhi High Court, Justice R K Merathia, Former Judge of Jharkhand High Court, Justice R.S Rathore, Former Judge of Rajasthan High Court, Justice M C Garg, Former Judge of Delhi High Court, Justice D K Arora, Former Judge of Allahabad High Court, Justice Pratyush Kumar, Former Judge of Allahabad High Court, Justice S N Srivastav, Former Judge of Allahabad High Court, Justice Karam Chand Puri, Former Judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court, Justice S N Agarwal, Former Judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court, Justice D K Paliwal, Former Judge of MP High Court, Justice Lokpal Singh, Former Judge of Uttarakhand High Court, Justice Narender Kumar Jain, Former Judge of Sikkim High Court are the retired judges among the signatories.
In addition, 130 retired bureaucrats, including 20 former Ambassadors, and 118 retired Armed Forces officers are signatories to the representation.
The group of 262 citizens emphasised upon the recent Supreme Court case, Shaheen Abdulla v. Union of India and Ors., in which the Court highlighted the importance of different religious communities living in harmony to maintain the country's secular character. In this case, the Court had expressed alarm over the rising incidents of hate speeches and directed government and police authorities to take immediate action in such cases, without waiting for formal complaints.
The letter underscores the significance of Sanatana Dharma, describing it as a set of duties incumbent upon Hindus, characterized as "eternal" and integral to the freedom of religious worship in India. Furthermore, the letter highlights Udhayanidhi Stalin's refusal to apologize for his hate speech and his determination to continue making such statements, despite widespread condemnation. The citizens argue that his remarks constitute hate speech against a significant portion of India's population and undermine the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution.
The Signatories of the letter express their deep dismay at the Tamil Nadu State Government's refusal to take any action against Udhayanidhi Stalin and its justification of his divisive remarks. This stance, they contend, directly contradicts the Supreme Court's directives in cases such as Shaheen Abdulla v. Union of India and Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India, where the Court called for swift action against hate speech crimes.
In light of the State Government's inaction, the letter urges the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice of contempt against the State Government of Tamil Nadu. The citizens call for decisive steps to prevent the spread of hate speech, preserve public order and peace, and ensure that the rule of law prevails.
"We urge the Hon’ble Supreme Court to take the suo moto notice of contempt, ensuring accountability for the inaction of the State Government of Tamil Nadu, and take decisive steps to prevent the inducement of hate speech, preserving public order and peace and we request you to take immediate appropriate actions", states the letter.