‘Naked’ Jain monk remark: SC turns down Dadlani’s plea for quashing FIRs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to grant protection from arrest to music composer Vishal Dadlani for allegedly making scathing remarks against Jain monk Tarun Sagar and asked him to move the high court.

A bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and Adarsh Kumar Goel also declined Dadlani’s prayer for quashing of FIR lodged against him in Haryana, saying he could approach the concerned high court.

Advocate Karuna Nundy, appearing for Dadlani, sought protection from arrest, saying if the FIR is not quashed, he could be arrested by the police.

The counsel also urged that protection from arrest could at least be granted to Dadlani till they moved the high court. The bench, however, declined the prayers and asked him to move the high court for relief.

An FIR was lodged against Dadlani by the Ambala Cantt police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments with his sarcastic tweet on the Jain monk.

The FIR also named Tahseen Poonawala, a Congress activist who too had tweeted on the Jain monk.

The case against Dadlani and Poonawala in Ambala was registered under several sections including 153A (promoting enmity between classes), 295A (maliciously insulting the religion or religious beliefs of any class) and 509 (uttering any word or making any gesture to insult the modesty of a woman etc) of the IPC, police had said.

The case was registered on a complaint filed by Punit Arora, a resident of Ambala Cantonment who is said to be a follower of the monk.

The complainant alleged that the accused had intentionally hurt religious sentiments with his sarcastic tweet on Sagar.

The Haryana government had invited the Jain monk, who appeared naked to deliver a lecture ‘Kadve Vachan’ in the state Assembly on August 26.

Dadlani, a staunch AAP supporter, came under sharp criticism from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other quarters for his “sarcastic” tweet on Sagar’s address in the Haryana Assembly.

After a barrage of criticism, Dadlani had tendered an apology for his tweet and deleted it. He had also apologised to the Jain monk on Twitter.

Dadlani on August 29 had also announced quitting “all active political work” but maintained it was his own decision to quit the party.