Delhi Lt. Governor V.K. Saxena on Tuesday sanctioned the prosecution of Arundhati Roy and Sheikh Showkat Hussain in the 2010 FIRs against them.
Saxena noted that a prima facie case is made out against Roy and Dr. Hussain, the former Professor, International Law, Central University of Kashmir for commission of offence under sections 153A, 153B and 505 of Indian Penal Code for their speeches at a public function in the national capital.
Sanction has not been granted under Section 124A of IPC (Sedition) as the Supreme Court in another case had 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 till the Constitution Bench decides on the Sedition matter.
Delhi Police, in view of the directions of the Supreme Court, had said that the decision on request for grant of prosecution sanction for offence under Section 124A of IPC may not be taken at present.
Two other accused — Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, a Delhi University lecturer — had died during the pendency of the case.
Sushil Pandit, a social activist from Kashmir, had filed a complaint on October 28, 2010 against various persons/speakers involved for allegedly delivering provocative speeches in public in a conference organised by ‘Committee for release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) under the banner of “Azadi – The only Way”, on October 21, 2010.
The complainant had alleged that the issue discussed and propagated was “Separation of Kashmir from India”.
It was also alleged that the speeches were provocative in nature, thus jeopardising public peace and security. The complainant thereafter filed a complaint u/s 156(3) of CrPC before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi.
The FIR in the case was registered on November 29, 2010 on the directions of Metropolitan Magistrate through order dated November 27, 2010 for the offences of sedition, promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., with imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration. They were also charged with the act aimed at public mischief.
A case was also registered under Section 13 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.
It is alleged that Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Roy strongly propagated that “Kashmir was never the part of India and was forcibly occupied by the Armed Forces of India and every possible effort should be made for the independence of the State of Jammu & Kashmir from India”.
The Prosecution Sanction under section 196 CrPC was sought by Delhi Police for offence under sections 153A, 153B, 504, 505 of IPC and Section 13 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 against Roy and Hussain.