Ashis Nandy denied relief in case filed by Gujarat police


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to quash criminal proceedings against political analyst Ashis Nandy which have been initiated by the Gujarat police for his writing an article in a national daily allegedly portraying the state in bad light.

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Justice S.N. Dhingra refused to give relief to the 73-year-old scholar and dismissed his plea for quashing the proceedings against him.

The state government initiated the proceedings against him on a complaint filed by V.K. Saxena, president of Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties.

Saxena alleged that the article written after the last assembly elections projected the state in bad light and promoted communal disharmony between Hindus and Muslims.

Challenging the state government’s decision to book him, Nandy contended that the case 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.

The Gujarat government, however, justified the criminal prosecution and pleaded before the high court not to interfere in the ongoing investigation.

“It is submitted that the FIR (first information report) 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 penal provisions related to promoting communal disharmony and imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration.