Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Delhi LG approves prosecution of Arundhati Roy, Showkat Hussain in a 2010 ‘provocative speech’ case

PHOTO BY MAYANK AUSTEN SOOFI

VK Saxena, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor has granted sanction for the prosecution of award winning author Arundhati Roy and Sheikh Showkat Hussain, former Professor of International Law at Central University of Kashmir, in a 13-year-old case relating to provocative speeches at a public function in 2010.

“The FIR in the matter was registered vide orders dated November 27, 2010, of the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi,” read a statement from the Delhi LG office on Tuesday.

According to the LG’s statement, a prima facie case was made out against Roy and Hussain for the commission of an offence under sections 153A, 153B and 505 of the Indian Penal Code for their speeches at a public function in Delhi.

The LG office said: “However, despite a case of sedition being made out, sanction has not been granted under Section 124A of IPC (Sedition) owing to the fact that the Supreme Court on May 5, 2022, in another case has directed that all pending trials, appeals and proceedings with respect to the charge framed under Section 124A (Sedition) of IPC shall be kept in abeyance and thereafter the three-Judge Bench headed by CJI had referred the matter to Constitution Bench on September 12, 2023.”

Sushil Pandit, a right wing activist from Kashmir, had filed a complaint with SHO, Tilak Marg, Delhi against several human rights defenders for allegedly delivering provocative speeches in public at a conference held by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) under the banner of “Azadi – The Only Way”, on October 21, 2010, at LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg in Delhi.

Two other accused are Sayed Ali Shah Geelani, tallest leader of Kashmiri resistance movement, and Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, the prominent human rights activist and Delhi University lecturer who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in a Parliament attack case. They have died during the pendency of the case.

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