SC raps Stalin Jr over Sanatan remark

Stalin's controversial statement was made during a conference in September 2023

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday rapped Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin over his contentious “eradicate Sanatan dharma” statement, questioning his decision to seek consolidation of FIRs filed against him after allegedly abusing his right to freedom of speech and expression.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta criticised Stalin for his remarks, emphasising that as a minister, he should have been cautious with his statements and mindful of their potential repercussions.

The bench highlighted that Stalin’s actions amounted to an abuse of constitutional rights and questioned his approach in invoking Article 32 directly in the Supreme Court.

Stalin’s controversial statement was made during a conference in September 2023, where he declared that Sanatana dharma opposes social justice and equality and should be “eradicated.”

Drawing parallels between Sanatana dharma and infectious diseases like Coronavirus, malaria, and dengue, the minister of youth welfare and sports of Tamil Nadu called for its destruction.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Stalin, clarified that he was not justifying his client’s comments but was merely seeking the consolidation of FIRs filed against him in six states.

In response, the bench advised the petitioner to approach the respective high courts for relief, citing previous Supreme Court orders in similar cases involving journalists and political figures.

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