SC to hear DMK leader's plea in connection with remarks made against Scheduled Castes community

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Friday a plea filed by a DMK leader challenging a Madras High Court order which refused to quash a criminal case against him in connection with alleged remarks made against the Scheduled Castes community.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat is likely to take the appeal filed by DMK leader and Rajya Sabha member R S Bharathi against February 22 order of the High Court.

The High Court had dismissed his plea to quash the case observing that he prima facie “humiliated and insulted” people belonging to the Scheduled Castes.

The High Court had also directed the trial Court to complete the trial on day- to-day basis expeditiously without any further delay.

In his plea, filed through advocate Amit Anand Tiwari before the top court, Bharathi said the High Court judgment erroneously notes that his statement is such that it will divide the people and create disharmony in the society, and that the same was in bad taste. “It is submitted that ingredients of Section 3 (1) (u) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 are not fulfilled. For an offence to be made out under Section 3 (1) (u) of the Act, the speaker is required to promote or attempt to promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will against members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes.

“In the present case, the statements made by the Petitioner not at all promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will against members of the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. In fact, the Petitioner merely stated the historical fact that the Dravidian Progressive Movement, with which the petitioner is involved since 1960s, improved and uplifted the lives of members of SC, ST and downtrodden communities in Tamil Nadu,” the plea said.

The petition contended that there is nothing to show that the petitioner had an intention to promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will against members of the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes.

Bharathi submitted that the High Court failed to appreciate that the instant complaint is actuated with malafide and the Complainant has vested interests which are politically motivated.

An FIR was registered against Bharathi under the IPC provisions besides those of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, based on the complaint lodged by Athi Tamilar Makkal Katchi leader Kalyanasundaram for an alleged speech by the DMK leader at a party forum indoor meeting. PTI PKS SJK RKS RKS