Supreme Court today said that Yoga guru Ramdev cannot be tried at different places in the country for his alleged controversial “honeymoon” remarks targeting Rahul Gandhi over visiting homes of Dalits.
“If he (Ramdev) is wrong then he should be punished but simultaneously, he cannot not be prosecuted at 20 different places,” a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice A K Sikri said.
The court’s observation came when a lawyer submitted that persons, who got offended from the statement, have a legal right to file cases and the trials against the yoga guru cannot be stayed.
“We have understood your anxiety. You have a right but he (Ramdev) also has got a right,” the bench said, adding that the cases pertain to one speech.
Meanwhile, it said that all matters on the matter be tagged and asked his counsel Keshav Mohan to file separate petitions for seeking transfer of complaints filed against him in various trial courts.
The court, had on May 9 last year, stayed all proceedings against Ramdev in different parts of the country for his alleged controversial remarks.
It had issued notices to police in all states which have registered cases against Ramdev.
The court’s order had come on a petition filed by Ramdev seeking directions restraining any coercive action against him and for clubbing all FIRs lodged in different parts of the country for his controversial “honeymoon” remark.
The plea had said that complaints and FIRs arising out of alleged comments made on April 25 last at Ramdev’s press conference be clubbed and dealt in Lucknow or any place of the choice of the apex court.
Ramdev had also sought that the courts and police should be restrained from taking any coercive action against him in pursuance of the FIRs lodged against him.
The first FIR was lodged against Ramdev at Mahanagar police station in Lucknow under section of 171(g) (false statement in connection with an election) of the IPC for his remarks against the Congress Vice President, which had sparked outrage with several parties and organisations terming them as “anti-Dalit”.