The Delhi High Court issued notice to the city government seeking its response as to why criminal case should not be registered against hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, writer Arundhati Roy and Delhi University professor S A R Geelani for allegedly making anti-India speeches.
Justice Hima Kohli asked the government to file its response to a petition seeking criminal prosecution of Geelani and others under the charge of sedition and other offences. The court passed the order on a petition seeking initiation of criminal proceedings against them.
Advocate Sugriva Dubey, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the government should be directed to take action under section 124 A IPC (sedition).
"The freedom of speech alone never includes the freedom of propagation of ideas against national interest and one has to ensure that speeches should not be allowed to be made only for the purpose of provoking innocent people," Dubey submitted while referring to the speeches made by Geelani and others in the capital on October 25.
The advocate alleged that Roy, in her speech, had said that Jammu and Kashmir is not an integral part of India and that she had called upon the youth of the state to make sacrifices for Kashmir.
The court, after hearing his submissions, issued notice to the Delhi government and asked it to file its response by January 27 when the matter would be taken up for further hearing.
Two complaints have already been filed in the lower court against the Hurriyat leader and others for making anti-India speeches. A metropolitan magistrate had on November 10 decided to record pre-summoning evidence of the complainants who have sought prosecution of the three speech-makers.
In another case filed against them, another subordinate court has directed the Delhi Police to a file status report on November 16. Geelani had shared the dais with Roy and pro-Maoist leader Vara Vara Rao among others during a convention, 'Azadi-The Only Way' in New Delhi.