SC stays proceedings against Ramdev

SC stays proceedings against Ramdev

In a respite to yoga guru Ramdev, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed all proceedings initiated against him at different places across the country for making alleged offensive remarks against SC/STs with reference to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit to their homes.

A four-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice R M Lodha issued notice to those who filed complaints against him as well as the state police on a plea made by him to transfer the criminal cases to one particular place.

The court, however, asked Ramdev to deposit a sum of Rs 10 lakh in the apex court registry towards payment to complainants for their travel and other expenditure if they were to move to another place for pursuing the case.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the yoga preacher, agreed to pay the amount.

He argued that the apex court had earlier made an order for transfer of cases registered across the country in case of hate speech of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray and in matter of eminent painter M F Husain.

A counsel, representing one of the complainants, submitted that the petitioner had not even made a mention of the offensive statement made by him.

“No merits”

The bench, also comprising Justices A K Patnaik, S S Nijjar and K S Radhakrishnan, however, said, “If he is guilty, law will take its own course. But at the moment, we are not on merit of the case.”

“We don’t know, if you made the statement or not but if you do anything like this, you invite people across the country (to make complaints),” the bench said.

The petitioner had earlier contended that as many as 12 cases have been registered against him within four days, seriously affecting his movement across the country.

On April 25, Ramdev, while addressing a press conference in Lucknow, made controversial remarks against Congress vice-president for having “picnic and honeymoon” in dalit homes, incurring sharp reactions, leading to registration of criminal cases against him under the stringent SC/ST Act.

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