The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the police not to take any coercive steps against Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar till December 14 in the two criminal cases in which he is accused of making statements promoting enmity between different groups.
The cases were lodged against him over his controversial social media posts following the blasts at a convention centre in Kochi during a prayer meeting of Christian religious group Jehovah's Witnesses.
Justice C S Dias admitted Chandrasekhar's pleas for quashing the FIRs against him and issued notice to the state seeking its stand in both matters.
The court also issued notice to Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Digital Media Convenor P Sarin, on whose complaint one of the FIRs was lodged, and sought his stand on the matter.
Right after news broke out about the blasts, Chandrasekhar had posted on Facebook, "The price of appeasement politics of Cong and CPM will always be borne by innocents of all communities – That is what history has taught us. Brazen appeasement politics – shameless even by Cong / CPM / UPA/ INDI alliance standards to invite Terrorist Hamas to spread hate & call for ‘Jihad’ in Kerala."
His post further said, "This is the height of irresponsible madness politics. Enough! ‘You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. You know, eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard’ – Hilary Rodham Clinton.”
Soon after the blasts, a man claiming to be an estranged member of the Jehovah's Witnesses himself claimed responsibility for the blasts. In the investigation that followed, no terrorist group was found to have any links with the blast.
Cases under IPC sections 153 and 153A and section 120 (o) of the Kerala Police Act were lodged against the central minister.
IPC 153 and 153A refer to wantonly provoking with intent to cause riot and promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth and residence.
Section 120 (o) of the KP Act refers to causing nuisance and violation of public order.
The high court listed the two cases for further hearing on December 14 and directed the police not to take any coercive measures against Chandrasekhar till then.
-With PTI Input