NEW DELHI: Delhi court has sought the response Union Minister V K Singh on a criminal complaint seeking registration of an FIR against him for his alleged "dog" remark in the aftermath of the burning of two Dalit children in Haryana.
Additional Sessions Judge S K Malhotra asked Singh to file his reply on the revision petition within four weeks and listed the matter for arguments in April.
The court asked the complainant, advocate Satya Prakash Gautam, to supply a copy of his revision petition challenging a magisterial court's decision dismissing his criminal complaint to Singh.
"Reply, if any, be filed within four weeks with the advance copy to the other party. Put up for arguments on April 6," the judge said.
The court had earlier issued a notice to the former Army chief on the revision petition.
The police had opposed the plea, saying no cognisable offence was made out against Singh for his alleged remarks on October 21, 2015.
The revision petition was filed by the complainant in December 2015, challenging the trial court's order alleging that the magistrate "has only desperately tried to shield the proposed accused under various pretexts, including those not even on record, like the intention of the proposed accused while making impugned statements which were the basis of filing the present complaint."
"It is clear...that the metropolitan magistrate has tried to step into the shoes of the counsel of the proposed accused to defend him. Thus, the impugned order deserves to be set aside on this ground alone," Gautam had claimed.
The magisterial court had on December 7, 2015, dismissed his plea observing that no criminal offence was "ex-facie" made out against the minister.
The court had said that for no reason Singh's statement could be seen as a remark made to demean any caste or creed and it did not see the comment as an "analogy drawn between dog (as an animal) and humans (of a caste or creed)".
The complainant had alleged that Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, had hurt the sentiments of the Dalit community by such remarks.
Singh had kicked up a storm with his alleged remarks in connection with the Faridabad incident that the government cannot be blamed if anyone throws a stone at a dog.
The court had earlier directed the police to file an action taken a report (ATR) on the complaint seeking to lodge an FIR against Singh under provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Information Technology Act, and IPC.
The police, in its ATR, had told the court that Singh had not made any "specific derogatory and humiliating statement" warranting his prosecution on the complaint.