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Karnataka HC stays criminal case against organisers of Eradicate Sanatan Conference, organisers say they are not responsible for Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks

The organisers argue that they can’t be held responsible for comments made by speaker in its event. They are also questioning the jurisdiction of the Karnataka court to hear the case over the event in Chennai.

The Karnataka High Court on Friday stayed criminal proceedings against the controversial ‘Eradicate Sanatan Conference’ held in Chennai in September 2023. Tamil Nadu CM Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin had made controversial comments against Hinduism at this event, saying that Sanatan cannot be simply opposed, but it has to be eradicated.

The “Eradicate Sanatan Conference” was organised by Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association at Kamarajar Arangam, Teynampet in Chennai on 2nd September. Hearing a plea filed by the organisers of the event to quash the criminal case filed against it last year, Justice Krishna S Dixit stayed all criminal proceedings against the organisers until the next hearing.

The judge however expressed concern over comments made in the conference, saying that it is important to respect all religions. “See the statement. See the way the allegations were made. Whether we agree with certain tenets, religion, scriptures is one thing, but denigrating them is another thing,” Justice Dixit said.

The judge said that people should be careful about what they say and avoid making such derogatory comments, especially if they are public figures.

Udhayanidhi Stalin had said that just like Mosquitoes, dengue, flu, malaria, corona etc, Sanatan Dharma also need to be abolished, not just opposed. He is facing several cases over hate speech in various courts in the country. A petition to club all the FIRs against him are currently pending before the Supreme Court.

A separate criminal case was filed against the organisers of the event in Karnataka. After that, the organisers approached the Karnataka High Court seeking orders to quash the case. The case is currently being heard by a trial court in Bengaluru.

The organisers argue that they can’t be held responsible for comments made by a speaker at its event. They are also questioning the jurisdiction of the Karnataka court to hear the case over the event in Chennai. The Karnataka High Court judge said that the question of territorial jurisdiction may have to be examined.

Defending the call to eradicate Hinduism at the event, Ravivarma Kumar representing the organisers said that Hinduism is known for its tolerance, and it accepts not only theism but also atheism. But the judge asked why Hinduism was denigrated at the event. To this, advocate Kumar said that the organisers didn’t make the comments, those were said by Stalin.

“Tolerance practiced among Hindus is of the highest order. My senior used to repeatedly mention this, tolerance is inbuilt in us,” Kumar further argued invoking tolerance in Hinduism.

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