A lawyer on Monday withdrew a public interest litigation petition filed by him in the Madras High Court seeking initiation of disqualification proceedings against Chidambaram Member of Parliament Thol. Thirumavalavan for having “misinterpreted” ancient scripture Manusmriti in a webinar and claiming that it denigrated women.
Petitioner’s counsel chose to withdraw the case after a Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and R. Hemalatha pointed out that the petitioner, S. Kasiramalingam, had not cited any constitutional or statutory provisions for seeking a direction to disqualify the MP and initiate other actions against him for alleged violation of code of conduct.
Though petitioner’s counsel R.C. Paul Kanagaraj sought two days to come back with relevant provisions of law, the senior judge on the Bench refused to grant such permission. Stating that an experienced lawyer had filed the present case, the judges said the least they expected from such a litigant was to undertake basic research before filing a case.
Immediately, Mr. Kanagaraj urged the court to permit him to withdraw the PIL petition with liberty to file a fresh case citing all relevant provisions of law and the judges accepted his request.
Earlier, counsel contended the MP’s speech on Manusmriti, a scripture penned 2,200 years ago, had created widespread unrest and defamed all Hindus in general.
Stating that the country now follows only the Constitution and not Manusmriti, counsel said if the MP was allowed to go scot free despite having made such a derogatory speech, it would send a wrong signal to society. He also said that Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, the party led by Mr. Thirumavalavan, had organised agitations across the State to ban Manusmriti.
On this, Justice Sathyanarayanan said the law and order machinery would take care of protests conducted without permission. Stating that the court was not interested in entertaining such litigations, the judge said it was unfortunate that the courts were being used by political parties to settle scores.