Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare and Sports Minister Udhaya Nidhi Stalin faces mounting legal challenges as courts in other states issue summons requiring his appearance in connection with his controversial comments on Sanatan Dharma. In September last year, Udhayanidhi Stalin sparked controversy by calling for the eradication of Sanatan Dharma, likening it to mosquitoes, dengue, corona, and malaria.
In January, a special court in the Bihar capital served a summons on Udhayanidhi Stalin, directing him to appear for a February 13 hearing in a case linked to his remarks. Special Judge Sarika Wahaliya provided Udhayanidhi the option of having a lawyer represent him at the hearing to respond to charges under various sections of the IPC. The case was filed by Kaushalendra Narayan, a Patna HC lawyer, at the CJM’s court on September 4 and transferred to Special Judge Wahaliya on January 6.
Now, a Karnataka court has also issued summons to Udhaya Nidhi Stalin in connection with the same matter. The court requires his personal appearance to respond to the charges related to his controversial remarks on Sanatana Dharma. This development adds to the legal woes faced by the minister, indicating the widening scope of the legal repercussions of his statements.
Patna MP/MLA Court summons Udhayanidhi Stalin on 13th February for abusing Sanatan religion. pic.twitter.com/0lAgCBezfB
— News Arena India (@NewsArenaIndia) January 16, 2024
The court, specifically the 42nd ACM Court in Bengaluru, has summoned Udhayanidhi Stalin to appear on March 4 in response to a private complaint filed by an individual named Paramesh.
In September of the previous year, Udhayanidhi Stalin stirred public outcry by calling for the eradication of Sanatana Dharma, equating it with dengue and malaria. Paramesh’s complaint contends that the minister’s remarks opposed Sanatana Dharma, thereby hurting the sentiments of its followers. The court’s summons adds to Udhayanidhi Stalin’s legal troubles, expanding the scope of the legal repercussions of his controversial statements.
Paramesh’s counsel, Advocate Dharmapal, explained, “Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin partook in an event that opposed Sanatana Dharma. He made a comment about Sanatan Dharma, claiming that it has to be driven out like dengue and malaria. This was published everywhere. After that, he has been sticking to the stand and reiterating the same statement.” He further highlighted the potential impact of such statements on the sentiments of those following Hindu Dharma.
In response to the summons, Udhayanidhi Stalin defended his statements and expressed his commitment to addressing the issue through legal means. He emphasised that he would not change his stand, standing by his ideology. During the initial controversy, Udhayanidhi Stalin justified his comments, stating, “There was nothing wrong in what I had spoken. We will face the matter legally. I will not change my stand. I have only talked about my ideology.”
Udhayanidhi Stalin clarified the context of his statements, citing perceived injustices and instances where individuals belonging to specific communities were allegedly excluded. He pointed to the example of President Murmu, a tribal community member, who he claimed was not invited to the inauguration of the new parliament by Prime Minister Modi.
The Madras High Court, in November of the previous year, heard Quo Warranto writ petitions filed by Hindu Munnani functionary T. Manohar and two others against Udhayanidhi Stalin, HR and CE Minister Sekar Babu, and Lok Sabha DMK MP A Raja. Justice Anita Sumant reserved the order without specifying a date.
Additionally, the Supreme Court, on September 27, agreed to examine another plea seeking the registration of an FIR against Udhayanidhi Stalin over his remarks on Sanatana Dharma. The plea, filed by Delhi-based lawyer Vineet Jindal, alleged that Stalin’s comments constituted hate speech, urging the court to initiate criminal proceedings against him for hurting religious sentiments. On September 22, the Supreme Court issued notices to Stalin and the Tamil Nadu government over the controversial remarks.
Furthermore, there are complaints against Udhayanidhi in various states, including Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, for his comments on Sanatan Dharma. The legal scrutiny over his remarks has resulted in a challenging period for the minister, especially as he is often tipped to take over leadership due to his father’s alleged health issues. Udhayanidhi Stalin, who aspires to assume a more prominent role within the party and potentially inherit the chief ministerial position, faces an uncertain political and legal landscape.
As the matter reaches the judiciary, Udhayanidhi Stalin’s political ambitions may be influenced by the legal outcomes of these cases. The ongoing legal troubles threaten to disrupt the anticipated transition within the party leadership, adding uncertainty to the political trajectory of Udhayanidhi Stalin.