SRINAGAR: The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has granted approval for the prosecution of novelist Arundhati Roy and former International Law Professor at the Central University of Kashmir, Professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain, in connection with a case related to their comments on Kashmir in 2010, as per sources of The Hindu from the Raj Niwas on October 10.
Sources for The Hindu further revealed that an FIR was registered in this matter following a ruling by the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi. The case has also been registered under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.
Saxena noted that a prima facie case is made out against Ms Roy and Dr Hussain, former Professor of International Law at the Central University of Kashmir, for the commission of offences under sections 153A, 153B, and 505 of the Indian Penal Code for their speeches at a public event in the National Capital.
Sections 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) pertain to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony. Section 153B (IPC) relates to imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration, while Section 505 (IPC) deals with statements conducive to public mischief.
Sayed Ali Shah Geelani, a Kashmiri separatist leader, and Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, a Delhi University lecturer, who were the other accused in the case, have passed away during the course of the proceedings.
In view of the directions of the Supreme Court, Delhi Police has stated that the decision on the request for granting prosecution sanction for an offence under Section 124A (Sedition) of the IPC may not be made at this time, according to sources from the Raj Niwas.
A social activist from Kashmir, Sushil Pandit, filed a complaint on October 28, 2010, against various speakers involved in a public conference organised by the ‘Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners,’ alleging that their provocative speeches jeopardized public peace and security. The complainant had alleged that the issue discussed and propagated was the “Separation of Kashmir from India.