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Court rejects review plea against Husain

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to review its order declining to initiate criminal proceedings against noted painter M.F. Husain for allegedly hurting public sentiments through some of his paintings, including the one on ‘Bharat Mata,’ that were termed obscene.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal dismissed the review petition filed by Maharashtra-based Dwaipayan Venkateshacharya Varkhedkar against the dismissal of his special leave petition on September 8, 2008.

The Bench said there was no merit in the petition.

The petitioner had challenged a Delhi High Court verdict quashing the criminal proceedings initiated against Mr. Husain in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The paintings, allegedly depicting Bharat Mata and Hindu gods and goddesses in an obscene manner, had created a furore and he received threats from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal. As a result, the painter is living in a self-imposed exile in Dubai.

The proceedings against the painter were initiated on the basis of complaints filed in Panderpur (Maharashtra), Rajkot (Gujarat) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh).

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