SC seeks response of TN police on DMK MP's plea seeking quashing of FIR against him

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Tamil Nadu police on DMK MP R S Bharathi's plea challenging a Madras High Court order refusing to quash a criminal case against him for allegedly making disparaging remarks against the SC community.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat took note of the submissions of lawyer Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for the Rajya Sabha MP, and issued notices to Assistant Commissioner of Police of Crime Branch and the complainant Kalyana Sundaram.

In the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, the bench sought the responses on the plea within two weeks.

On February 22, the Madras High Court had dismissed the MP's plea to quash the case, observing that he prima facie “humiliated and insulted” people belonging to the Scheduled Caste community.

The high court had also directed the trial court to complete the trial on a 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 society. “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.

It 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 SC or ST communities.

The FIR against Bharathi was registered under the IPC provisions as well as those of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, based on a complaint by Athi Tamilar Makkal Katchi leader Kalyana Sundaram for an alleged speech by the DMK leader at a party forum meeting. PTI SJK ABA MIN MIN