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Supreme Court Weighs Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Plea on FIRs Across States

The Supreme Court deliberated on Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s plea to consolidate FIRs lodged against him across multiple states over his remarks on ‘Sanatana Dharma.’ Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta initially remarked on Mr. Stalin’s awareness of the consequences of his statements, prompting a response that he sought procedural clarity, not a debate on the case’s merits. The court considered whether charge sheets would be filed for the varied offenses in states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. Singhvi, representing Mr. Stalin, argued for consolidation, citing past interventions where FIRs against individuals were clubbed. He stressed the potential for persecution, emphasizing that the FIRs stemmed from the same statement. The court contemplated the practicality of summoning witnesses from distant states and suggested a neutral venue for proceedings. The petition highlighted concerns about political influence in certain states and the burden of extensive legal battles on the petitioner. The court scheduled further proceedings for March 15 to address these complex legal and jurisdictional issues.