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India: Taslima Nasrin moves Supreme Court and gets relief against FIR over tweet

17 December 2013

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The Hindu New Delhi, December 17, 2013

Court to hear Taslima’s plea

Legal Correspondent

The Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday a writ petition filed by Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin, seeking to quash the charges filed against her under the Information Technology Act for a controversial tweet criticising a meeting between Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and religious leader Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan.

A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi agreed to hear the petition after senior counsel K.K. Venugopal made a ‘mention’ for urgent listing of the petition.

Ms. Nasrin said she was constrained to approach the apex court as the Uttar Pradesh government registered a case against her in Bareilly merely for expressing her views on Twitter. A fatwa was issued in the nature of a virtual death threat and a price of Rs. 5 lakhs fixed on her head.

Ms. Nasrin said the FIR was based on a newspaper report on November 6 about the meeting Mr. Kejriwal had with Maulana Tauqueer Raza Khan. Her protest on twitter was in the specific context of a public announcement against her in 2007 which was never withdrawn and continued to be live even today. Ms. Nasrin said the FIR was an abuse of the process of law. Further, Section 66A of the IT Act was so wide and vague that it was incapable of being judged on objective standards. She contended that this provision infringed on the right to freedom of speech and expression.

Ms. Nasrin pointed out in her petition how the Uttar Pradesh police had been clubbing other penal provisions with Section 66A of the IT Act and arresting persons merely for expressing their views on the internet.

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NDTV.com

Supreme Court restrains UP Police from taking action against Taslima Nasreen

Written by Anant Zanane | December 17, 2013 15:47

Supreme Court restrains UP Police from taking action against Taslima Nasreen

The Supreme Court today ruled that the Uttar Pradesh Police cannot summon or take any coercive action against controversial author Taslima Nasreen.

Ms Nasreen had been booked for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of minorities by tweeting that Indians should "speak up against fanatics who vitiate society and push it backward and politicians who encourage them. Else, it’s bad news for democracy".

Ms Nasreen was alluding to the meeting between Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kerjriwal and Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan and the increasing trend of politicians pandering to clerics to sway vote banks.

In 2007, Tauqeer Raza Khan led the agitation against Ms Nasreen for what he claimed were anti-Islam writings by the author. He demanded that she be deported from India and her books be burnt.