Special Correspondent

Case posted to January 23 Contention that the letter was a private communication from the party leader to its cadres was without any substance

CHENNAI: DMK president M. Karunanidhi denigrated the Bhagvad Gita in a letter published in Murasoli, the prosecution submitted on Wednesday in its counter to a petition filed by the daily's Editor, S. Selvam, seeking discharge from a case in which he and Mr. Karunanidhi been cited as accused.

XVIII Metropolitan Magistrate K. Gayathri posted the case for January 23 for arguments.

Following a complaint, the police had filed the charge sheet against Mr. Karunanidhi and Mr. Selvam for an offence under Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code. In the counter filed by Assistant Public Prosecutor R. Jeyaretnakumar, the prosecution submitted that the author of the letter, apart from quoting several passages from the book, Gitaiyin Marupakkam, had denigrated the Gita as a whole while quoting some portions. The author had quoted them out of context.

The Tamil daily was sold in the open market and there was no restriction stating that it was meant for DMK partymen alone. The letter appeared on its front page and did not contain any indication that it was intended to be read only by the DMK cadres.

Thus, the contention that the letter was a private communication from the party leader to its cadres was without any substance, the prosecution submitted, and said the discharge petition should be dismissed.

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