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Taslima moves SC against FIR on tweets

December 16, 2013 21:37 IST

Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of an FIR lodged by a Muslim cleric in Uttar Pradesh against her alleging that her tweets "insulted" religious beliefs. 

The Apex court will on Tuesday hear the plea of the author who also sought scrapping of controversial section 66 (A) of the Information Technology Act which provides for arrest of a person hurting the sentiments of others through offensive remarks or information through electronic media, including social networking sites. Nasreen said she feared that the "draconian" provision will be "misused" against her.

The petition was mentioned by senior advocate K K Venugopal before a bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi which agreed to hear it on Tuesday.

The author, who was irked over the meeting of Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal with Muslim cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, had posted some comments on her twitter account.

A news report of a vernacular daily, based on her Twitter posts, formed basis of the FIR lodged by Khan at Kotwali police station at Barelly under section 295A (maliciously insulting the religious beliefs) of the IPC and under section 66A of the IT Act.

The Bangladeshi author, who has been living in self exile for over 19 years, has apprehended the misuse of the IT Act provisions against her also.

"In the present case, the petitioner is herself a hapless victim and her case is a glaring example of the kind of abuse and misuse which is to be expected given the vague, wide and wholly unguided language of section 66A. It highlights the serious threats to the constitutional and human rights posed by the provisions such as section 66A of the IT Act...", it said, adding her plea be clubbed with other similar petitions.

Seeking quashing of the FIR, the plea said that it has been lodged without any "preliminary inquiry" by the UP police which relied on a news report, which summarised some of her twitter posts.

Taslima, in her petition, said that earlier, complainant Khan had announced a cash reward of Rs five lakh in 2007 on her head for her pro-women comments and no action was taken despite the fact that the incident was publicised.

"The petitioner is left with no alternative except to approach this court to seek relief against the motivated and malicious FIR against her, as well as against the rather draconian statutory provision which acts as an easy and ready aid for such abuse of the legal process," it said. 

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