The Tamil Nadu government has granted sanction to prosecute Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai for 'hate speech' against a Christian missionary NGO for comments made while speaking to Rajavel Nagarajan of the Pesu Tamizha Pesu YouTube channel.
A letter issued by the Public (Law and Order-H) Department, stated, that the Salem District Magistrate had communicated that one V Piyush, residing in Salem had requested sanction to prosecute Annamalai and Nagarajan under sections 153, 505 and 120-A of IPC.
It also invoked the directive of the Supreme Court regarding registering cases against hate speech.
Subsequently, it stated that the opinion of the state public prosecutor was sought and both the public prosecutor and the government were satisfied that the remarks were indeed hate speech and Annamalai should be prosecuted.
"AND WHEREAS, the Opinion of the State Public Prosecutor, Hon'ble High Court of Madras has been obtained in the above case. The State Public Prosecutor in his legal Opinion second read above, has stated that Thiru.K.Annamalai, State President, Bharathiya Janata Party, Tamil Nadu has intentionally and out of context uttered remarks regarding a Christian Missionary NGO which forced the Missionary to file a petition before the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.
"The speech of Thiru.K.Annamalai involves open use of words and phrases generally considered to be offensive to a particular religion and objectively offensive to the society. Thus the speech of Thiru.K.Annamalai falls well within the ambit of the definition of "Hate Speech" as laid down in Amish Devgan Vs. Union of India & others (2021) 1 SCC 1.
"Moreover, the statement of Thiru.K.Annamalai is within the subjective intent to target the group or person associated with the class /group. It is thus evident that the statement made by Thiru.K.Annamalai is with the sole intention to cause fear or alarm and create hatred or likely to create and enmity between two religion"
"AND WHEREAS, on a careful consideration, based on the opinion of the State Public Prosecutor, Hon'ble High Court of Madras, Chennai, the Government is satisfied that the hate speech delivered by Thiru.K.Annamalai, State President, Bharathiya Janata Party, Tamil Nadu against the Christian Missionary NGO, with an intention to promote disharmony, feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will between different religious groups, and to cause fear or alarm to the public and also to disturb the public tranquility;
"AND WHEREAS, the Government is also satisfied that the said speech committed by the above said person constitutes the offences punishable under sections 153-A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Central Act XLV of 1860)"
Critics of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have questioned the government for not taking action against Udhayanidhi Stalin for his speech calling for the eradication of Sanatana Dharma.
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