The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed a Bengaluru court to reconsider a criminal complaint filed against former Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde and former state minister CT Ravi in relation to controversial tweets made by them. The metropolitan magistrate court in Bengaluru had rejected the application filed by RTI activist and industrialist Alam Pasha who sought criminal proceedings against the BJP leaders, reported The Hindu. Pasha had taken exception to the contents of tweets by the two leaders which were against the Tipu Jayanti celebrations in October. 2017. Pasha had sought a probe alleging that the contents of the tweets attracted provisions under the Indian Penal Code. To this effect, he had sought the local jurisdictional officer register a case against the two leaders.
However, the Bengaluru court rejected Pashaā€™s application in November 2017 citing lack of a state government sanction required to probe a sitting Union Minister. Following this Pasha had approached the High Court.
Justice John Michael Cunha on Monday allowed the petition by Pasha and observed that sanction is required only after a probe is completed. According to The Times of India, Justice Cunha observed that the magistrate had failed to apply his mind in this case and misinterpreted sections of 196(1) and (1-A) of the Criminal Procedure Code. He also directed the court to consider the matter again.
TNM had reported how Hegde in 2017 had called the state's Tipu Jayanti celebrations a shameful event. "I have conveyed to the Karnataka government not to invite me to a shameful event that glorifies a person known to be a brutal killer, wretched fanatic and mass rapist,ā€¯ he had said in a tweet.
It may be recalled that the BJP government led by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had stopped the state-sponsored celebration of Tipu Jayanti in 2019 which was started by his predecessor Siddaramaiah.