Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court granted a stay on any legal action against rights activist Teesta Setalwad here on Monday, in a case related to posting allegedly objectionable pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses on Twitter.
Justice J B Pardiwala of the Gujarat High Court granted the stay in connection with an FIR filed in Bhavnagar city until further hearing on December 3 and also served a notice to the complainant through the investigating officer of the Gujarat police.
Setalwad had sought for quashing of the FIR lodged in Bhavnagar city saying there were two FIRs lodged for the same offence in Bhavnagar and in Ahmedabad city, which is contrary to legal provisions.
"There cannot be two FIRs against the same person for the same offence, while in this case, two separate FIRs were lodged by the Gujarat police at two different police stations," Advocate Y N Rawani told the Gujarat High Court.
An FIR was lodged against Setalwad by a social worker Kirit Mistry in 'C' division police station in Bhavnagar city on August 23 accusing her of displaying objectionable pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses.
Setalwad was charged with promoting enmity between two religious groups and committing deliberate malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs under Sections 153(A) and 205(A) of the IPC.
The FIR filed in Bhavnagar had also demanded action against Setalwad for projecting Hindu gods and goddesses in bad light and hurting religious sentiments.
Another FIR was filed in Ghatlodia area police station in
the city in connection with the same offence.
On August 23, Setalwad had tweeted Photoshop-manipulated pictures of some ISIS terrorists with the deceased American journalist James Foley just before his beheading, against a religious image, allegedly drawing a parallel between gods and goddesses with extremists.
The very next day, Setalwad had apologised for it on her blog and Twitter.
"Sincere apologies for the inadvertent tweet," Setalwad had tweeted on Twitter on August 23.
"The moment I realised that the illustration had created a controversy and hurt many people, I deleted my tweet for having inadvertently hurt their feelings," she had written on her blog.