The statement: The graphic said, "Karnataka High Court Declares Tipu Sultan was a Jihadi who fought the British for his own Kingdom and was not a Freedom Fighter (sic)." It further said that Sultan massacred and converted Hindus to Islam.
We received a query about the claim our WhatsApp tipline too.
What is the truth?: The viral claim is misleading as we did not find evidence to support the fact that the Karnataka High Court called Sultan a "jihadi."
While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) which challenged the government's decision to celebrate Tipu Sultan Jayanti, Justice Mukherjee questioned the logic behind the celebrations.
He further said that the Sultan was a monarch and not a freedom fighter and the remaining of the viral quote was exaggerated.
How did we find out?: A keyword search led us to a news report published in The Indian Express in November 2016.
The report said that the bench of Justice Mukherjee and Justice RB Budhihal was hearing a PIL filed by South Kodagu-based K P Manjunatha. The PIL challenged the government's decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti.
Justice Mukherjee observed that the Sultan was not a freedom fighter but a monarch who fought to safeguard his interests. He further questioned the logic behind the celebrations.
The public counsel MR Naik defended the government's decision and said that the Sultan was a great warrior who fought against the Britishers.
Countering the claims, the advocate for the petitioner, Sajan Poovaiah, said that Sultan was a tyrant ruler who killed people belonging to many communities, including Kodavas, Konkanis, and Christians.
The court's judgment: The Quint accessed the judgment made by the Karnataka High Court on 3 November 2016.
The court said that "whether Tippu Jayanthi shall be celebrated or not is a policy matter of the government."
The writ petition was disposed of and the court did not expression any opinion on the merits of the claim and the counterclaim of the parties.
The high court directed the petitioner to make a representation to the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka to express his grievance against the celebrations.
We did not find any similar remarks made by the court against Sultan as seen in the viral claim.
No information available in public domain: We did not come across any news reports or information that could support the claim of Justice Mukherjee calling Sultan a "jihadi."
What was the matter about?: In 2015, the Karnataka government had announced the celebration of Sultan's birthday in the state on 10 November and had invited prominent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
However, the state BJP president Prahlad Joshi said that the party will officially boycott the function.
However, the celebrations reportedly turned violent in Madikeri town of Karnataka and led to the death of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist, DS Kuttappa, and a bystander.
The petition against the celebrations were filed the next year.
Conclusion: It is clear that a fabricated statement is being shared to claim that the Karnataka High Court declared Tipu Sultan a "jihadi."