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Home > News > PTI

Delhi court asks Hussain to be present at next hearing

January 09, 2008 19:39 IST

A Delhi Court has issued a notice directing noted painter M F Hussain to appear before it in a case related to the alleged indecent depiction of Bharat Mata and Hindu gods.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate A K Kuhar directed the 92-year-old painter, who left the country as part of a self-imposed exile, to appear before it on March 29. The court also pulled up the police for its lax probe in a related matter.

"Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, the investigating officer is directed to expedite the investigation as already sufficient time has been given," the ACMM said in a recent order, directing the police official to produce the final investigation report by March 29.

Asking the IO to speed up the probe in the case filed by a doctor of Apollo Hospital, Ram Pratap Singh, the ACMM said "I hope no further time will be sought by the IO in completing the investigation".

Earlier, Singh's counsel had raised the issue of delay in the police probe and complained that there was a deliberate attempt to delay the probe.

Singh had filed a complaint in 2006 accusing Hussain of hurting religious sentiments of the public by allegedly painting 'nude or scantily clad pictures of Bharat Mata, Sita and Draupadi', which reportedly appeared in a magazine and a national daily.

The other case in which the court also issued a notice to complainant advocate Arvind Shrivastava, the painter has been accused of outraging religious sentiments, promoting enmity between different devout groups.

He has also been accused of selling obscene material and disturbing national integrity, thereby committing offences under several sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Earlier, a Haridwar court, acting on Shrivastava's complaint, had issued a bailable warrant followed by an attachment of property order against Hussain after he failed to appear before it. The attachment order against Hussain was stayed by the apex court, which had transferred the case to the Delhi court, last year.

It is probably for the first time that the ACMM has sought personal appearance of the artist, who is facing criminal prosecution for his controversial paintings in as many as six cases. The cases filed in different states were earlier clubbed by the apex court and transferred from different courts to the ACMM's court in New Delhi.

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