Mumbai: The sedition charges slapped on Kanpur-based freelance cartoonist Aseem Trivedi will be dropped, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said on Tuesday.
While the sedition charges against Trivedi will be dropped, he will still face the charges of insulting the national emblem.
The recent development comes in the wake of outrage over the arrest of Trivedi on Saturday under IPC Section 124 (sedition), Section 66 A of Information Technology Act and Section 2 of Prevention of Insults to Nation Honour Act for posting seditious contents on his website. He is currently in judicial custody till September 24.
India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal, who met Trivedi at Arthur Road Jail today, had said that if by Friday all charges against the cartoonist are not dropped, then from Saturday he would sit on protest outside the jail.
Trivedi was initially remanded in police custody till September 16 on Sunday. However, on producing Trivedi before a Bandra court on Monday, police said their investigations in the case were over and his custodial interrogation was not needed.
The cartoonist was then sent to judicial custody till September 24 after he refused to seek bail.
The Kanpur-based artist has been accused of putting up banners mocking the Constitution during a rally of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare here late last year and posting the same on his website.
Police informed the court the posters drawn by Trivedi had been put up at the rally but it was very hard to recover them at this stage as they were thrown by the cartoonist at the rally venue in Bandra Kurla Complex.
Police further said Trivedi was using a mobile phone registered on his father`s name. They said in so far as posting of Trivedi`s cartoons on a social networking site was concerned, the Cyber Cell of the department was carrying out investigations.
Trivedi was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by a member of Republican Party of India, Amit Katarnayea.