Hijab row: Plea in SC seeking to quash FIR over 'inflammatory speech' against Karnataka HC judges

The petitioner is a state auditing committee member of the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath.

Published: 13th April 2022 08:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2022 08:15 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice on a petition filed by a Chennai resident praying to quash an FIR filed against him in Bengaluru that came from an identical set of facts of another FIR filed against him in Madurai over alleged inflammatory speech against the Karnataka High Court judges who delivered the hijab verdict.

The petitioner is a state auditing committee member of the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath. He allegedly made the speech while addressing a small gathering of people at Goripalayam in Madurai, apparently following the Karnataka High Court verdict that went against wearing hijab in classrooms.

The petitioner has contended that he would be put under tremendous hardship and it would be impossible for him to approach various courts and police stations in two different states in respect of two FIRs. Furthermore, the continuation of investigation in both the FIRs parallel by two different investigating agencies would be tantamount to abuse of due process, he said.

“The petitioner is filing the present petition in extremely urgent circumstances as multiple (Two) FIRs have been registered against him in different parts (Madurai, Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru, Karnataka) of the country. Two parallel investigations are being undertaken in two different jurisdictions by two different investigating agencies in regard to the same cause of action,” the plea reads.

ALSO READ | Karnataka HC order on hijab unconstitutional: Kerala Muslim groups

“Under these circumstances, the petitioner begs to approach this Hon'ble Court for urgent relief of quashing the second FIR, pending this petition, grant injunction restraining the filing of any further FIRs in the future on the basis of the same cause of action, on the following amongst other grounds, which are without prejudice to one another:” it added.

Upholding the government order dated February 5, 2022, banning the hijab in classrooms, a full bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justices Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi of the Karnataka High court had pronounced the verdict on a cluster of petitions questioning the order passed by the state government banning the wearing of hijab in classrooms.

The high court bench had also maintained that the government has the power to issue impugned order dated February 5, 2022, and no cases were made out for its invalidation. By the said order, the Karnataka government had banned wearing clothes that disturb equality, integrity and public order in schools and colleges, which the Muslim girls had challenged in the High Court. The bench also rejected the plea to initiate a disciplinary inquiry against the college, its principal and teacher.

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