HC refuses to quash summons issued to state BJP chief Annamalai in hate speech case (The Week)

Hate Watch


Chennai, Feb 8 (PTI) The Madras high court, dismissing a petition filed by state BJP President K Annamalai on Thursday to quash the summons issued to him in a case, expressed the opinion that the psychological impact on an individual or a group must also be considered under the definition of hate speech.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh made this observation while dismissing Annamalai’s petition, in which he sought the quashing of the summons issued by a magistrate in Salem.

The summons had been issued based on a complaint by a person named V Piyush, who accused Annamalai of making a hate speech against Christians in an interview to a YouTube Channel on October 22, 2022, with regard to the bursting of crackers, just two days before Diwali.

Arriving at his observation, the judge noted that Annamalai had given an interview to a YouTube channel, whose runtime is nearly 44.25 minutes, a 6.5-minute extract of which was shared on the BJP’s twitter handle on October 22, 2022. This date is significant as it was just two days before Diwali, the judge added.

The content of the message was that there was an internationally-funded Christian Missionary NGO that is allegedly involved in completely destroying Hindu culture by filing cases in the Supreme Court to prevent Hindus from bursting crackers.

Prima facie, the statements disclose a divisive intent on the part of the petitioner to portray a Christian NGO as acting against Hindu culture, the judge said.

The intent can be inferred from the timing of the statements, made two days before the festival of Diwali, the judge added, saying it was also evident from the fact that this particular extract of the interview was culled out from the main interview and shared on the twitter handle of the BJP.

This story was originally published in theweek.in. Read the full story here.


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