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Hate Speech: Delhi LG grants sanction to Delhi Police for prosecution of author Arundhati Roy, Kashmiri professor 

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has granted sanction to Delhi Police to prosecute author Arundhati Roy and former Kashmiri professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain in a 2010 case pertaining to their alleged remarks regarding separation of Kashmir from India.

As per a statement issued by the LG office on Tuesday, a prima facie case was made out against Roy and Hussain for the commission of offence under Sections 153A, 153B and 505 of the Indian Penal Code for their speeches at a public function in the National Capital.

It further said that though a case of sedition was being made out against the accused, but sanction for prosecution under Section 124A of IPC (Sedition) could not be granted owing to a Supreme Court order of May 5, 2022, which directed that all pending trials, appeals and proceedings with respect to the charges framed under Section 124A (Sedition) of IPC shall be kept in abeyance.

The statement noted that on September 12, 2023, a three-judge Bench headed by the CJI had referred the matter to a Constitution Bench.

Two other accused – Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Delhi University lecturer Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, who were acquitted by the Supreme Court in a Parliament attack case on technical grounds, have died during the pendency of the case, it added.

Though Delhi Police sought sanction to prosecute Roy and Hussain for offences under Sections 153A, 1538, 504, 505 of IPC and Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, it was granted the same only for three offences under IPC.

Following an order by a Court of Metropolitan Magistrate in Delhi, Police had registered an FIR against Roy, Hussain and others on November 29, 2010 under Sections 153A, 153B and 505 of the Indian Penal Code. 

A social activist from Kashmir, Sushil Pandit, had filed a complaint on October 28, 2010 with SHO, Tilak Marg, alleging that provocative speeches were made during a conference organised by The Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) under the banner of ‘Azadi – The only Way,’ on October 21, 2010 at LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg.

As per the complainant, the conference discussed and propagated the idea of ‘Separation of Kashmir from India’. 

Filed under Section 156(3) of CrPC before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi, the complaint alleged that Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Roy fervently advocated that Kashmir was never an integral part of India and had been forcibly occupied by the Indian Armed Forces and they further urged for concerted efforts toward the independence of Jammu and Kashmir.

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