The Karnataka High Court on Friday stayed for three weeks further proceedings in connection with a criminal case against Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi.

The case with regard to his recent “hate speech” delivered at Nirmal in Andhra Pradesh, is before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bangalore.

Justice K.N. Keshavanarayana passed the interim order on a petition filed by Mr. Owaisi questioning the proceedings initiated by the magistrate court based on a private complaint filed by city-based advocates K. Dilip Kumar and Dharmapal.

“How can you prosecute a person multiple times for the same offence? You can’t prosecute a person all over the country for the same offence. When there is already a police investigation going on in Andhra Pradesh, how can a private complaint be filed on the same here?…,” the judge asked Mr. Dharmapal.

Earlier, counsel for Mr. Owaisi contended that many of the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), like Section 298, were non-applicable in the case as the complaint was filed based on newspaper reports and the complainants were not personally present at the place where the alleged speech was made. However, complainant Dharmapal claimed that he was well within the jurisdiction to sue the legislator as the speech delivered by Mr. Owaisi offended him [complainant].

How can you prosecute a person multiple times for the same offence?