Karnataka High Court stays action against BY Raghavendra

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the allegations levelled are miles away from generating any hatred, much less enmity.
Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court(File photo)

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court stayed criminal proceedings initiated against BJP MP BY Raghavendra, contesting from Shivamogga Lok Sabha constituency, concerning a case registered by Chitradurga Rural police for violation of the model code of conduct over hate speech.

Justice Krishna S Dixit passed the interim order after hearing the petition filed by Raghavendra, questioning the FIR registered by police based on the complaint filed by officers on poll duty on March 23, 2024, for offences punishable under Section 125 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the allegations levelled are miles away from generating any hatred, much less enmity. “The jurisdictional police inspector appears to not have adverted to the subtle difference between ‘Dharma’ and ‘Religion’, which the Supreme Court has explained,” he said, and also drew the court’s attention to a decision by the coordinate bench of the high court that provisions of the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988, are not attracted.

After hearing the matter, the court observed that the matter merits a deeper examination, there being a prima facie case for issue of notice to the respondents, Chitradurga police and the complainant, who is an officer on poll duty.

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