Former HC judges, bureaucrats write to CJI seeking action against Udhayanidhi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Former HC judges, bureaucrats write to CJI seeking action against Udhayanidhi

Sep 05, 2023 03:03 PM IST

The former high court judges and and bureaucrats sought suo moto cognizance against Udhayanidhi Stalin over his controversial ‘eradicate Santana Dharma’ remark

A group of 262 citizens, including former high court judges and bureaucrats, have written to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud to take suo moto notice of contempt against Tamil Nadu sports minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s controversial “eradicate Santana Dharma” remark.

Tamil Nadu sports minister Udhayanidhi Stalin. (File Photo)
Tamil Nadu sports minister Udhayanidhi Stalin. (File Photo)

Calling it a “hate speech” that could incite communal disharmony and sectarian violence, the signatories said that Stalin’s words had caused much anguish in the hearts and minds of common citizens of India, especially those who believe in Sanatan Dharma.

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The statement was coordinated by former Delhi high court judge, justice S N Dhingra and former Union shipping secretary Gopal Krishna IAS. The signatories included 14 Judges, 130 Bureaucrats (20 Ambassadors) and 118 Armed Officers.

Expressing concerns on the remarks made by Stalin, the signatories said, “These remarks undeniably amount to hate speech against a large population of India and strikes at the very core of the Constitution of India which envisages Bharat as a secular nation. Moreover, the rule of law was further undermined when the State Government of Tamil Nadu refused to take any action against Udhayanidhi Stalin and rather chose to justify his remark.”

The signatories quoted the Supreme Court of India’s judgments in the case of Shaheen Abdulla v. Union of India and Ors. and Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India and further said that the state government should take sue moto action against any hate speech crime without waiting for any complaint.

“In the case of Shaheen Abdulla v. Union of India and Ors., [Writ Petition(s) (Civil) No. 940/2022)], the Supreme Court of India observed that there cannot be fraternity unless different religious communities are amenable to live in harmony. The Supreme Court has expressed concern over the growing incidents of hate speeches in the country and has directed the governments and police authorities to take suo motu action in such cases without waiting for the lodging of formal complaints,” the letter said.

“Since the State Government has refused to take action and acted in contempt of the court’s orders and gravely undermined or rather made a mockery of the rule of law, 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,” they urged the CJI.

Addressing a conference organised in Chennai by the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Artists Association on the theme of ‘Eradication of Sanatana’ on Saturday, Udhayanidhi Stalin, who is the son of chief minister MK Stalin, contended that Sanatan was against the idea of social justice and that it had to be eradicated.

“A few things cannot be opposed, that should be abolished only. We can’t oppose dengue, mosquitoes, malaria, or corona. We have to eradicate this, that’s how we have to eradicate Sanatan. Rather opposing Sanatan it should be eradicated,” he said in Tamil.

“Not only did he make a hate speech but Udhayanidhi Stalin refused to apologise for his remarks. Rather he justified himself by stating: “I will say this continuously” with reference to his remark that Santana Dharma should be eradicated. He reiterated that he stands by his remarks and offered ambiguities and nuances that did little to address the concerns raised by people,” the signatories wrote in their letter to the CJI.

They added that action is needed in order to preserve the secular character of the country. Any delay on the part of the administration in taking action is “very serious” and will invite the court’s contempt, they added.

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