Eminent scholar Ashis Nandy, who is facing arrest for making alleged anti-Dalit remarks, on Thursday approached the Supreme Court to quash the FIR against him.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir agreed to hear his plea and posted the case for Friday.
Seeking an urgent hearing, advocate Aman Lekhi, appearing for Nandy, urged the apex court to intervene in the matter as there is "serious apprehension" of the sociologist being arrested.
"The registration of the FIR is itself an abuse of law and there is imminent danger of the same being compounded as the petitioner is being denied of his fundamental rights under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution, because of the clamour for his immediate arrest from important political personalities including Mayawati and Chairman SC and ST Commission P L Punia," stated the petition, filed through advocate Gaurang Kanth.
Nandy, during a panel discussion at the Jaipur Literature Festival, had allegedly said that people belonging to Other Backward Communties and Sheduled Castes/Sheduled Tribes were more corrupt.
Later, a case was registered against him under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Challenging the proceedings, the 76-year-old stated that he is facing a serious threat in the surcharged environment against him.
"Because of the surcharged environment against him and the rabid statements made by important political personalities, his physical safety is itself compromised and there is imminent threat of injury to him," the petition said.
"In fact, there was no mala fide intent or purpose on the part of the petitioner to make a comment in order to insult or intimidate with intent to humiliate a member of SC or ST in any place within public view," he said.
"The lodging of the said FIR against the petitioner for the alleged offence committed under SC/ST Act is against the basic principles of the fundamental rights which envisages that free speech is the foundation of a democratic society," the petition said.