Sreedharan Pillai moves HC seeking quashing of FIR against him

Kerala BJP president P.S Sreedharan Pillai moved the High Court seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him by the police for his speech on the Sabarimala protests.

The first information report was registered in Kozhikode on a complaint by journalist Shybin alleging that Sreedharan Pillai, while addressing a meeting of the 'Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha' (BJYM) state council, had instigated activists to protest the entry of women of menstrual age into the hill shrine.

In his petition, Sreedharan claimed that he had not made any statement with an intention to cause any fear or alarm among any section of the public, so as to induce a person to commit an offence against state or against public tranquility.

Presenting the digital evidence of his speech before the court, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president claimed that he had clearly told the gathering that the protest should be peaceful, not like a "violent war".

But these aspects were suppressed by the media which published an edited version of his speech, he claimed.

Sreedharan was charged under section 505 (1) (B) of the IPC (intent to incite or which is likely to incite persons to commit any offence), a non-cognizable offence, in connection with his November 4 address.

He also claimed that the views expressed by him in an exclusive party function would never attract IPC section 505.

Sreedharan submitted that he cannot be held liable for media interpretations given to edited portions of his speech telecast by certain media houses with vested interests.

TV channels last week aired a video clip in which Sreedharan had purportedly said the Sabarimala agitations were "planned and orchestrated" by the party as part of its "agenda" and was a "golden opportunity" for it.

(with news agency inputs)