Majlis MLA seeks four more days’ time citing health reasons

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi failed to appear before the Nirmal rural police in Adilabad district on Monday to respond to the notice served on him for the hate speech he allegedly gave at a public meeting on December 22. The MLA was asked to submit himself to an inquiry, but Mr. Owaisi, citing health reasons, sought at least four days more.

He submitted a petition to police through his advocate Mohd. Ismail.

Adilabad police, in turn, deputed a team of officers comprising Circle Inspector A. Raghu, investigating officer in the case, and Sub-Inspector A. Srinivas to check the veracity of his claims. Mr. Raghu would decide about further course of action, including a fresh date for personal appearance, after talking to doctors attending on him.

Medical tests

Mr. Owaisi arrived from London in the early hours at Shamshabad airport amid a huge gathering of supporters and went in a rally to his Banjara Hills residence. A team of doctors from the Owaisi Hospital visited his residence and reportedly conducted a medical examination.

He was booked under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 121 (waging or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India).

Apart from the case filed by police, Mr. Owaisi is facing a slew of cases filed by private persons seeking his prosecution under Section 153 A. In a petition filed before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate here, an advocate K. Karunasagar wanted the court to take cognisance of the hate speech and direct registering cases under IPC Section 295A.

The court felt that the government’s approval was necessary to take up cases dealing with Section 295A, but the petitioner cited Supreme Court judgments that spoke about the authority of the courts to take cognisance of the case under the section. The case had been adjourned for Tuesday.

Writ filed

On his part, Mr. Owaisi has filed a writ petition in the A.P. High Court seeking a direction to the State government and the Director General of Police not to register any further FIRs and quash the case registered with Osmania University police station.

The writ petition is likely to come for hearing before a single judge on Wednesday.

Mr. Owaisi claimed that there was no ill-will, grudge or any other negative sentiment against any community at any point of time.

He termed filing of cases as strategic and aimed at proliferating criminal proceedings against him and harassing him with repetitive investigations.

The MIM remained, by and large, unrelenting to widespread criticism it has attracted over Mr. Owaisi’s vituperative speech.

At a meeting at the party’s headquarters on Monday, MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said the whole thing was a conspiracy by the Congress and BJP to defame the Majlis.