Court to decide if FIR can be lodged against Roy, Geelani

A Delhi court is likely to decide on Saturday whether criminal proceedings can be initiated against hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and writer- activist Arundhati Roy on charge of sedition.

New Delhi: A Delhi court is likely to decide on Saturday whether criminal proceedings can be initiated against hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and writer- activist Arundhati Roy on charge of sedition for their alleged anti-India statements.

Metropolitan Magistrate Navita Kumari Bagha, who pulled
up the police for failing to submit proper status report on
the complaint filed with them in October 38 by Sushil Pandit
seeking registration of FIR against Roy and Geelani, reserved
the order on the complaint filed with the court after hearing
arguments of Pandit`s counsel.

Besides Geelani and Roy, the complaint sought prosecution
of five others, including Delhi University professor S A R
Geelani, who was acquitted in Parliament attack case, and
Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a professor of Jammu and Kashmir
University.

"The accused had crossed all the limits of freedom of
expression and incited the people to rebellion against Indian
state by saying that Kashmir was never a part of India. Their
conduct fell within the definition of offences described under
the IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act," advocate
Vikas Pador, who represented Pandit, submitted before the
court.

According to the complaint, the accused made the comments
at a convention here in October on `Azadi--The Only Way`.
Hurriyat leader Geelani shared the dais with Roy and
pro-Maoist leader Vara Vara Rao among others. Geelani was
heckled by the audience.

During the proceedings today, the court said, "You
(Police) were not supposed to file reply on the complaint. You
were asked to file the status report as to what action has
been taken on complaint filed with you with regard to
cognisable offences."

The counsel pointed out to the court that the police had
simply denied the occurrence of any offence and just admitted
that a seminar was organised. "The SHO is not even present in
the court. They are sleeping over the matter and did not give
any answer to our complaint," Padora alleged.

Taking the counsel`s plea into consideration, the court
allowed him to advance arguments in the matter and reserved
its order.

The complaint filed under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal
Procedure Code with the court on November one alleged that the
government had miserably failed to initiate any action against
the "culprits of the anti-India seminar so a private complaint
against them has been filed".

PTI

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