Chennai: A plea against his holding of pubic office in the light of his alleged anti-Sanatana Dharma remarks was due to ideological differences, with the petitioner being a Hindu right wing outfit, DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin has told the Madras High Court.
Senior counsel P Wilson, representing Udhayanidhi, also said Article 25 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to practice and propagate religion, also ‘gives the right to people to practice and propagate atheism.’ Article 25 read with Article 19(1)(A) (freedom or expression) clearly protects the Minister’s speech, Wilson submitted before Justice Anita Sumanth on Monday.
Right wing outfit Hindu Munnani had filed a quo warranto, challenging Udhayanidhi’s holding of public office in view of his alleged remarks against Sanatana Dharma at an event last month.
Wilson further submitted the petitioners have filed this case because DMK is antithetical to their ideology and stands for Dravidian ideology and speaks of self-respect, equality, rational thought and brotherhood, ‘while the opposing sect speaks of division on the basis of caste.’
The judge posted the matter for further hearing on October 31, after asking the petitioners to produce the invitation of the event, where Udhayanidhi is alleged to have made the remarks, and the list of those who attended the meeting.
(Published 17 October 2023, 05:25 IST)