Freedom of expression isn`t licence to hurt: Kerala HC

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 19:35

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed
that the fundamental right to freedom of expression in a
secular state was not an `absolute licence` to hurt feelings
of others.

"Those who take the risk of scurrilous attack on divine
personality should be prepared to face the consequences,"
Justice V Ramkumar said.
The observation came while dismissing a revision petition
challenging cancellation of bail of five persons, who had
allegedly circulated copies of a book containing imputations
against Prophet Mohammed.

`Even a confirmed atheist will not dare make such
blasphemous statement about a person who is worshipped and
revered not only by Muslims, but by members of other religions
too`, the judge said.

The petition was moved by Prasad Jacob, Saj Jacob, Reji
Jacob, brother of Sam Kutty who wrote the controversial book,
his son Charli P Sam and pastor Abraham Thomas of
Pathanamthitta district.
Sam Kutty died on Mar 7, 2007 and the book was
circulated on the day of his funeral.

The five were arrested on March 23 this year and were
granted bail by Judicial First Class Magistrate, Thiruvalla.

Following some protests at Chuganpara in Pathanamthitta
and since they violated some bail conditions, their bail was
cancelled by the Sessions court, challenging which they
approached the High Court.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 19:35

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