Giving a temporary respite to Kannada actor and anti-Hindutva activist Chetan Kumar Ahimsa, the Karnataka High Court on Monday stayed an earlier order of the central government revoking his Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) status.
Chetan Kumar challenged this order in the court. A bench headed by Justice M. Nagaprasanna ordered that neither the state nor the central government initiate any action against Chetan till June 2, 2023. The bench also asked Chetan not to tweet anything about the judiciary. Also directed not to give any statement regarding pending cases.
the bench asked Chetan Delete all tweets and submit an affidavit within four days. The court told Chetan Kumar that this direction is part of the final order and if any condition is violated, the interim stay order will be withdrawn.
Senior advocate Aditya Sondhi, who argued for Chetan Kumar, said that the petitioner should have been given an opportunity to represent himself before issuing the show cause notice. The central government should establish how Chetan’s tweets amount to sedition? If the court does not stay this order, the petitioner is at risk of being extradited from the country.
Once the OCI card is canceled he will become an illegal immigrant. The interest of the petitioner must be protected by the court, the counsel said.
Additional Advocate General Arun Shyam, appearing for the state government, told the court that the actor was in the habit of tweeting against the judiciary as well and hence he should not be given interim protection.
The Union Home Ministry had canceled the Overseas Citizenship of India status of Chetan Kumar and asked him to surrender his OCI card within 15 days.
Condemning the move, the actor had said that he has been issued the notice as he cannot be defeated in his socially oriented and rational work.
Chetan’s recent claim that the Tirupati Temple A dispute was raised over a Buddha temple built by demolition. In an interview he claimed that Hindu temples were never Vedic institutions. He said that Hindu temples were built by demolishing Buddhist temples.
Chetan claimed in his social media post that Hindutva is based on lies. He said that BJP leader Veer Savarkar’s statement that Hindu nation was formed when Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana is wrong.
He also said that the claim of Ram Janmabhoomi being at the site of Babri Masjid is also false. Their (BJP) statement of the murder of Uri Gowda in 2023 and Nanje Gowda, the then ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, is also false.
Chetan Kumar underlined that Hindutva can be defeated with truth. “Truth is equality,” his post said.
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