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Court allows early hearing of sedition case against Geelani

March 10, 2011 21:31 IST

Hearing of the sedition case against hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, writer Arundhati Roy and four others for their alleged anti-India speeches was preponed by a fortnight by a Delhi court.

The court, which earlier had fixed the matter for hearing on May 5, today advanced it to April 19 following a plea for early hearing by complainant Sushil Pandit.

Metropolitan Magistrate Navita Kumari Bagha, meanwhile asked police to file a status report, detailing the progress made by them in the investigation.

"So far, police have not filed any report showing that they have arrested any of the accused or they have served any notice on accused persons to participate in the investigation," Vikas Padora, counsel for Pandit, said.

The complainant the application was moved as he was dissatisfied with the police reports saying the probe against Geelani and others was still inconclusive.

"The investigating agency was required to submit its chargesheet within 90 days from date of registration of FIR, but till date no chargesheet has been filed and neither police have informed about the reason of such delay," the application said.

Besides Geelani and Roy, the complaint sought prosecution of four others, including Delhi University professor S A R Geelani, who was acquitted in Parliament attack case, and Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a professor of Kashmir University.

According to the complaint, the accused made the comments at a convention here in October last year on 'Azadi- The Only Way'. Hurriyat leader Geelani shared the dais with Roy and pro-Maoist leader Varavara Rao among others. Geelani was heckled by the audience.

Geelani was questioned on March 1, by the Delhi Police in connection with a hawala case in which one of his close aides Ghulam Mohammed Bhat has been arrested. Geelani, who had been avoiding questioning in this case, made an unsuccessful attempt to leave the national capital when he was intercepted by the police near the airport and escorted to Lodhi Road police station where he was questioned and his statement recorded.

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