Madras High Court quashes case against Kamal Haasan for hurting religious sentiments

Deepali Kalia

Madras High Court recently quashed a Trial Court’s proceedings against Kamal Haasan for hurting religious sentiments.

A single-judge Bench of Justice G Ilangovan stated that the remarks by the acclaimed actor were not insulting and that to draw analogies and make a comment is everyone’s basic right.

“No citizen got any right to stall the thought process of fellow citizen simply because, he thinks it is wrong. A wrong may be right in one’s own thought. But, that will not give any right of cause of action to another, to initiate criminal prosecution.”, Justice Illangovan noted.

The Court was hearing a Criminal Original Petition filed by the actor.

Aadhinatha Sundaram, the complainant had contended that when the acclaimed actor was asked about the increase in violence against women in India on a television show broadcasted by a private channel at 9 pm on March 12, 2017, the actor had said that it was not a surprise given that Mahabharata is revered by Indians which shows a woman being used as collateral during gambling.

Sundaram, thus accused the actor of deliberately insulting Hindus by making such comments and contented that Haasan has committed the offence punishable under Section 298 of the Indian Penal Code which entails a jail term of up to one year or fine for an individual who intentionally hurts the religious feelings of anyone. 

Valliyoor Chief Magistrate then acted on the private complaint and asked police to look into the matter who in turn submitted a report before the Court stating that Section 298 was not applicable as the words of the actor were general in nature.

The Trial Court, however, not only examined the complainant and a witness but also issued summons against Haasan.

Related Post