Chennai, Feb 14 (PTI) Weeks after the Kanchi Mutt junior pontiff Vijayendra Saraswathi trigerred a row by remaining seated when Tamil anthem was played at an event, a plea was today filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to police to file an FIR against the seer.

Hearing a criminal original petition of vice president of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, S Doraisamy, Justice M S Ramesh directed the Additional Public Prosecutor to seek instructions from the authorities. An original pPetition refers to the point of origination of a dispute.

The petitioner alleged that the pontiff had committed offences under the ‘Prevention of Insult to National Honor Act’ and Section 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code by deliberately insulting the Tamil anthem in front of Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

Doraisamy said he filed a complaint with police about it and was given him a receipt. No action, however, was taken after that, he told the court, and prayed for a direction to police to file an FIR on his complaint and investigate the matter.

On January 23, the invocation song to mother Tamil, known as ‘Tamil Thai Vaazhthu’, was played at a function presided over by Purohit where a Tamil-Sanskrit dictionary was released.

Saraswathi remained seated on the dias with his eyes closed when the Tamil anthem was played and stood up during the rendition of the national anthem, triggering a controversy.

Political parties, including the opposition DMK, alleged that it was an act of disrespect to the Tamil language, an allegation rejected by the mutt.

“I consider this an affront to mother Tamil, especially when it happened in the presence of the governor. Vijayendra Swami not standing up when the anthem was played is condemnable,” DMK working president M K Stalin had said after the incident.

The Kanchi Mutt, however, maintained the song was equivalent to ‘Kadavul Vaazthu,’ an invocation to the Almighty. It said the pontiff prayed and meditated when it was sung. The national anthem was not a prayer to God, the mutt had said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.