HomePoliticsKarnataka High Court Stays FIR on BJP's Ashwath Narayan’s Comments

Karnataka High Court Stays FIR on BJP’s Ashwath Narayan’s Comments

The Karnataka High Court has provided temporary respite to BJP leader C N Ashwath Narayan by staying the First Information Report (FIR) filed against him for his alleged inflammatory comments directed at Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The court’s decision came in response to a writ petition filed by Narayan seeking the quashing of the FIR. This development adds a new twist to the ongoing controversy surrounding the former minister’s remarks.

The Mysuru police had registered an FIR against Ashwath Narayan a week ago, accusing him of criminal intimidation and incitement to riot. The charges stemmed from remarks he allegedly made in February, just before the Karnataka Assembly elections, where he controversially stated that Siddaramaiah should be “finished off” similar to the fate of 18th-century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan. These comments triggered a wave of criticism from various quarters.

Legal Proceedings

In response to the FIR, Narayan’s legal counsel presented arguments in court. They contended that a non-cognizable report had been filed earlier, and since the complainant was not present at the incident site, a second complaint was invalid. The counsel further argued that the remarks made against Siddaramaiah were not meant to be taken literally but were rather part of the political discourse during the election campaign. They emphasized that the issue had been relatively quiet since a clarification had been issued, suggesting that the revival of the matter coincided with the Congress party’s ascent to power.

Court’s Observations

Justice M Nagaprasanna, presiding over the single-judge bench, took note of the ingredients required to establish the provocation of a riot. The court observed that the statement must either cause a riot or have the potential to incite one. However, as three months had passed without any untoward incidents occurring, the court found no evidence of riotous consequences caused by Narayan’s remarks. Taking these factors into account, the bench decided to grant an interim stay on the investigation.

The interim relief granted by the Karnataka High Court to Ashwath Narayan in the form of a stay on the FIR against him provides temporary respite from the legal proceedings initiated against him. The court’s decision was influenced by the absence of any riotous incidents occurring in the aftermath of Narayan’s comments. However, it is important to note that the stay is interim in nature, and further developments in the case are yet to unfold. The controversy surrounding Narayan’s comments against Siddaramaiah continues to be a matter of public interest, and it remains to be seen how the legal proceedings will progress in the future.

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