Arundhati Roy to face prosecution over 'free-Kashmir' speeches as Delhi Lt. Governor gives nodtext_fields
New Delhi: Delhi Lt. Governor V.K. Saxena has signalled to initiate legal action against Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain for allegedly demanding the separation of Kashmir from India and describing Kashmir as a region forcefully occupied by the Armed Forces of India during a conference in 2010.
Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain is a former Professor of International Law at the Central University of Kashmir. The decision comes in relation to FIRs filed against them back in 2010 for their speeches at a public function in the national capital.
Lt. Governor Saxena, in his order, stated that a prima facie case has been established against Roy and Dr. Hussain under sections 153A, 153B, and 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for their alleged provocative speeches.
However, he clarified that sanction has not been granted under Section 124A of IPC (Sedition) due to a directive from the Supreme Court, which has put all pending trials related to sedition charges on hold until a Constitution Bench decides on the matter.
The Delhi Police, adhering to the Supreme Court's instructions, has deferred the decision on the request for prosecution sanction under Section 124A of IPC.
The complaint leading to these developments was filed by social activist Sushil Pandit on October 28, 2010. Pandit accused various individuals, including Roy and Dr Hussain, of delivering provocative speeches at a conference organized by the 'Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP)' under the banner of "Azadi - The Only Way" on October 21, 2010.
The speeches allegedly discussed and advocated for the "Separation of Kashmir from India," with the claim that Kashmir was forcibly occupied by the Armed Forces of India.
Two other accused in the case, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, have since passed away during the course of the legal proceedings.
The FIR, registered on November 29, 2010, includes charges of sedition, promoting enmity between different groups, and assertions prejudicial to national integration. Additionally, the accused were charged under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, of 1967.
The Prosecution Sanction under Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was sought by the Delhi Police for offences under sections 153A, 153B, 504, 505 of IPC, and Section 13 of UAPA, 1967 against Roy and Dr Hussain.