SC stays probes against TV anchor Amish Devgan, web journalist Nupur Sharma

FIR had been filed against Amish Devgan for remarks against Sufi saint

June 26, 2020 07:54 pm | Updated 08:01 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Amish Devgan

Amish Devgan

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the investigation into multiple FIRs registered in several States against TV news anchor Amish Devgan for his remarks against Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti .

A Vacation Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari restrained the police from taking any coercive action against Mr. Devgan. FIRs have been lodged against him in Rajasthan, Telangana and Maharashtra.

Similarly, another Vacation Bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and B.R. Gavai stayed the proceedings in FIRs registered by the West Bengal Police against Nupur Sharma, the editor of web portal ‘Opindia.com’, and three others for certain media reports. The offences mentioned in the FIRs include promoting enmity among religions, communities, etc. The petition filed by Ms. Sharma, represented by senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, has, however, accused the West Bengal government of imposing “illegal censorship” on Press freedom.

The orders in both cases come a few days after the apex court refused to stay the investigation against senior journalist and Padma Shri awardee Vinod Dua for sedition for his telecast on the Delhi riots in February.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, for Mr. Devgan, submitted that his client had already tweeted a clarification. Errors cannot be construed as criminal offences, Mr. Luthra said.

One of the FIRs was lodged at Pydhonie police station in Mumbai against Mr. Devgan for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by referring to Saint Chisti in derogatory terms in a TV programme. The news anchor had later tweeted that he was actually referring to Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji.

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