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Christ picture: Interim bail for absconding publisher

March 09, 2010 17:58 IST

The Gauhati high court bench in Shillong on Tuesday granted interim bail to an absconding publisher, whose school text-books carried a scandalous representation of Jesus Christ.

"Director of Delhi-based Skyline Publication, Indra Mohan Jha got an interim bail from the Shillong bench of Gauhati high court through his counsel," DSP Vivek Syiem told PTI.

A city judicial magistrate court in Shillong had issued an arrest warrant against him on February 23 after the authorities of a convent school in Shillong, where the book carrying the controversial picture were supplied, filed an FIR. The picture had shown Jesus holding a cigarette and a beer can.

A Meghalaya police team had gone to Delhi in the last week of February to arrest him, but Jha could not be traced.

"His Ghaziabad residence was locked and neighbours said he was missing since some days. No one was available in the publication's office at Hasanpur in Delhi," Syiem said.

A case under Section 295 (A) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against Skyline Publication for hurting religious sentiments.

Meghalaya police is, however, likely to challenge the interim bail.

The publication had tendered a public apology for hurting religious sentiments and regretted the 'gross mistake,' saying 'action has been initiated to retrieve the erroneous book from all places where it has been sent.'

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