Supreme Court refuses to quash FIRs against journalist Amish Devgan for remarks on Sufi saint

Top court, however, protects him from immediate arrest

December 07, 2020 12:54 pm | Updated 12:54 pm IST - NEW DELHI

TV anchor Amish Devgan

TV anchor Amish Devgan

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to quash the criminal action initiated against TV anchor Amish Devgan for making derogatory remarks against Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti on air.

The court, however, protected him from immediate arrest, provided he cooperated with the investigation. It transferred the various FIRs registered against him to Ajmer.

When senior advocate Siddharth Luthra sought permission to let his client appear via virtual court, the top court told him to make his request before the appropriate court.

FIRs have been lodged against Mr. Devgan in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Telangana for his remarks during a programme telecast on June 15. Two were registered at Ajmer and Kota in Rajasthan, one at Bahadurpura in Hyderabad and two in Nanded and Pydhonie in Maharashtra. The FIR lodged in Pydhonie accused him of hurting religious sentiments. It was registered on the basis of a complaint by Arif Razvi, general secretary of Raza Academy.

Mr. Devgan had later tweeted an apology, saying that he was actually referring to Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji and inadvertently ended up naming Chishti. He had also issued a clarification on Twitter.

He said it was an error on his part, and thus, could not be treated as an offence.

He argued that he was, in a well-orchestrated manner, made a victim of baseless criminal complaints across the country. He said his family and his crew were abused on social media and had received death threats.

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