Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor, VK Saxena, approved the prosecution of novelist Arundhati Roy and sheikh Showkat Hussain in a case involving their remarks at a public event in 2010, according to a statement released by the LG’s office on Tuesday.
“The FIR in the matter was registered vide orders dated November 27, 2010, of the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi” , it said.
For their speeches at a public event in the National Capital, Roy and Hussain, former professors of international law at the Central University of Kashmir, were charged with violating sections 153A, 153B, and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, according to Saxena.
“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, 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 referred the matter to the Constitution Bench on September 12, 2023,” said the release.
In light of the Supreme Court’s instructions, the Delhi Police had previously said that it may not be appropriate to make a judgement at this time regarding a plea for granting prosecution sanction for a crime under Section 124A of the IPC.
Two more defendants—Sayed Ali Shah Geelani, a Kashmiri separatist leader, and Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, a Delhi University professor who was exonerated by the Supreme Court in a case involving a Parliament assault on technical grounds—passed away while the case was pending, according to the statement.
The committee for the release of political prisoners (CRPP) held a conference under the slogan “Azadi: The Only Way” on October 21, 2010, at LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A social activist from Kashmir named Sushil Pandit filed a complaint with SHO, Tilak Marg, against several individuals and speakers involved in making provocative speeches in public.
The complaint said that “separation of Kashmir from India” was the subject that was discussed and promoted.
Additionally, it was claimed that the remarks’ inflammatory character endangered the public’s safety and harmony.
After that, the complainant presented a complaint to the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in New Delhi according to Section 156(3) of the CrPC.
The case’s FIR was filed on November 29, 2010, pursuant to a Metropolitan Magistrate’s order dated November 27, 2010, for the offences of sedition and encouraging animosity between various groups on the basis of race, religion, place of birth, residence, language, etc. with imputations and assertions harmful to national integration.
In addition, a public nuisance prosecution was brought against them.
Section 13 of the 1967 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was also used to register the case.
Other attendees were Maoist sympathiser Varvara Rao, an accused party in the Bhima-Koregaon case, in addition to Roy, Hussain, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who was also the Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, and S.A.R. Geelani.
The statement continued that Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Roy reportedly spread the myth that Kashmir was never a part of India and was forcefully invaded by the Indian Armed Forces. It is thus imperative that all efforts be made to secure the independence of the State of Jammu and Kashmir from India.
The complainant, in his complaint dated October 28, 2010, referred to several of the remarks made by conference speakers.
Transcripts of remarks delivered by Roy, SAR, and SAS Geelani were also provided.
On December 1, 2017, two exhibits, a CD and a DVD, were sent to the computer division of CFSL for forensic analysis. The computer division concluded that the CD and DVD were determined to be logically functioning and physically undamaged.
Roy and Hussain were charged with violating Sections 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, and Sections 153A, 153B, 504, and 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), according to the Delhi Police.
Further clarifying the allegations, the Delhi LG notice said, “Section 13 of the UAPA, which deals with punishment for unlawful activities, states that whoever (a) takes part in or commits, or (b) advocates, abets, advises, or incites the commission of, any unlawful activity, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to a fine.”
It was added that while Section 153A of the IPC deals with the crime of “promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony,” Section 153B of the IPC deals with imputations and assertions that are harmful to national integration.
Sections 504 and 505 deal with utterances that incite public mischief and malicious insults made with the aim of disturbing the peace.
Section 196 of the CrPC states that prosecution is for offences against the state and for criminal conspiracy to commit such offences,” the statement added.