On Tuesday 10th October 2023, the prosecution of Arundhati Roy and Sheikh Showkat Hussain was sanctioned by Delhi Lt. Governor V.K. Saxena, in the 2010 FIRs against them. The FIR was registered on 29th November 2010 following the orders of the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi. 13 years, the former Professor of International Law at Central University, Kashmir.
The case was filed by Sushil Pandit after separation of Kashmir from India was raised at an event called Azadi – The only way, held in Delhi on 21st October 2010. Videos available of the event support the content of the complaint, as many people had protested about the nature and scope of this gathering while it was being held.
LG V K Saxena noted that prima facie a case is made out against Roy and Dr Hussain, for commission of offence under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of Indian Penal Code for their speeches at a public function in the national capital,”
Under Section 196(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a valid sanction for prosecution from the state government is a prerequisite for certain offences such as hate speech, hurting religious sentiments, hate crimes, sedition, waging war against the state and promoting enmity among others.
Sanction has not been granted under Section 124A of IPC (Sedition) as the Supreme Court in another case had 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 till the Constitution Bench decides on the Sedition matter.
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