When the matter came up before justice N Kirubakaran, the public prosecutor took notice on behalf of Chennai police.
"The petitioner is at liberty to serve private notice through speed post or courier or telegram to Karunanidhi, returnable by April 23," the judge said.
BR Gauthaman, in his petition, referred to media reports on October 24, 2002, that Karunanidhi had said at a public meeting that the word "Hindu" denoted "thief" and contended that he was a Hindu and the statement has hurt his religious sentiments.
"It was malicious and a deliberate act to hurt religious sentiments. The statement was intended to create religious disharmony," he said.
The petitioner said he filed a complaint at Mambalam Police Station on October 25, seeking action against Karunanidhi. Though an FIR was registered on January 6, 2006, no action was taken by police, he alleged.