SC asks Arundhati Roy to appear before Bombay HC

SC asks Arundhati Roy to appear before Bombay HC

The Supreme Court on Friday asked author Arundhati Roy to appear before the Bombay High Court in a contempt proceedings initiated against her for an article questioning denial of bail to a Delhi University professor, who was arrested for allegedly sympathising with Maoists.

A bench of Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan, however, assured her counsel that she would not be denied any right if she appeared before the Nagpur bench of the high court on Monday, January 25.

“What is the big deal in appearing before the court. This is just a process. Don’t worry. Nobody should fear from appearing in the court,” the bench told Roy’s counsel senior advocate Chander Uday Singh.

The court, however, sought a response from the Maharashtra government and the high court’s registrar general within two weeks admitting her petition for consideration. Roy challenged the contempt proceedings instituted by the high court on December 23, 2015 for her article published in a news magazine on May 9, last.

The bench also issued notice to the Maharashtra government on a special leave petition filed by professor G N Saibaba, challenging rejection of his bail by the HC on December 23.

Wheelchair-bound Saibaba, who is lecturer at Ramlal College here, was arrested by the Maharashtra police on May 9, 2014 in a case registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Senior advocate R S Cheema, appearing for Saibaba, submitted that the petitioner was in poor health. He claimed that the single judge, taking a subjective view, cancelled his interim bail and asked him to surrender within 48 hours.

Roy’s article had said that Saibaba suffered from 90 per cent disability from childhood and undergone heart surgery about 10 years ago. “The projection made him, Roy or social activist Purnima Upadhyay, the so-called human rights champions, on account of his arrest and detention in jail in such a serious crime, or absence of medical facilities and his deteriorating health” the HC said.

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