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Delhi HC refuses relief for Ashis Nandy in Gujarat case

Last updated: 01 September, 2010
New Delhi, Sep 1, (PTI): 17:51 IST

The Delhi High Court today refused to quash criminal proceedings against political analyst Ashis Nandy which was initiated by the Gujarat police for writing an article in a national daily allegedly portraying the state in a bad light.

Justice S N Dhingra refused to give relief to the 73-year-old scholar and dismissed his plea of quashing the proceedings against him. The state government initiated the proceedings against him on a complaint filed by V K Saxena, President of the Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties, alleging the article written after the last assembly elections had projected the state in bad light and promoted communal disharmony between Hindus and Muslims.

Challenging the state government's decisions, Nandy contended the FIR was registered out of malafide intention and was aimed at penalizing him for expressing his bonafide views.

His counsel said the state government has picked up a line from the article published in a national daily and accused him of promoting communal disharmony. Gujarat government, however, justified the criminal prosecution and pleaded with the High Court not to interfere in the ongoing investigation.

"It is submitted that the FIR in this case prima facie discloses the offence under the Criminal Procedure Code and the court should not interfere and allow the investigation to be completed," the state government said.

"It has been held time and again by courts that the power of quashing criminal proceeding should be exercised sparingly with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases," it said adding the government had allowed the prosecution of Nandy after perusing the article.

The FIR against Nandy was registered under section 153A (promoting communal disharmony) and 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) of Indian Penal Code.

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