New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today refused
to quash criminal proceedings against political analyst Ashis
Nandy which was initiated by the Gujarat police for writing an
article in a national daily allegedly portraying the state in
a bad light.
Justice S N Dhingra refused to give relief to the
73-year-old scholar and dismissed his plea of quashing the
proceedings against him.
The state government initiated the proceedings against
him on a complaint filed by V K Saxena, President of the
Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties,
alleging the article written after the last assembly elections
had projected the state in bad light and promoted communal
disharmony between Hindus and Muslims.
Challenging the state government`s decisions, Nandy
contended the FIR was registered out of malafide intention and
was aimed at penalizing him for expressing his bonafide views.
His counsel said the state government has picked up a
line from the article published in a national daily and
accused him of promoting communal disharmony.
Gujarat government, however, justified the criminal
prosecution and pleaded with the High Court not to interfere
in the ongoing investigation.
"It is submitted that the FIR in this case prima facie
discloses the offence under the Criminal Procedure Code and
the court should not interfere and allow the investigation to
be completed," the state government said.
"It has been held time and again by courts that the power
of quashing criminal proceeding should be exercised sparingly
with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases,"
it said adding the government had allowed the prosecution of
Nandy after perusing the article.
The FIR against Nandy was registered under section 153A
(promoting communal disharmony) and 153B (imputations,
assertions prejudicial to national integration) of Indian