Delhi HC refuses to entertain PIL against Haasan's jibe

Delhi HC refuses to entertain PIL against Haasan's remark

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined to hear a plea for action against actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan for his remark on Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse being a Hindu terrorist, saying it doesn't have territorial jurisdiction.

The court, however, asked the Election Commission to act on a representation by petitioner.

A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Jyoti Singh said the cause of action for the PIL by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay was the remarks by Haasan which was made outside the jurisdiction of the high court here.

Haasan, the president of Makkal Needhi Maiam, had in an election rally speech in Aravakurichi Assembly constituency termed Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as independent India's first "Hindu terrorist". He had made the comment while speaking at an election rally for his party candidate in Aravakurichi Assembly constituency, where by-polls will be held on May 19, the petition said.

Upadhyay, also a lawyer, alleged that Haasan "deliberately" made the statement in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gain.

The petitioner sought debarring of candidates and deregistration of parties which misuse religion for electoral gain as this was "clearly a corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951.

"Haasan has violated the Model Code of Conduct in addition to section 123(3) of the RPA 1951. He is deliberately promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and brotherhood, which is an offence under section 153A of the IPC. It is a deliberate and malicious act, intended to outrage religious feelings of millions of Hindus, which is an offence under section 295A IPC," the petition claimed.

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