NEW DELHI/MUMBAI:The Supreme Court on Monday stayed contempt proceedings against author and activist Arundhati Roy in the Bombay High Court for her article in a weekly questioning the incarceration of Delhi University professor G N Saibaba.
A Bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud granted the leave of appeal to Roy and listed her plea against issuance of criminal contempt notice by the Nagpur Bench of the High Court for final hearing.
The Nagpur Bench had in December 2015 rejected the bail application of Maoist activist Saibaba and instituted suo moto criminal contempt proceedings against writer Roy for her article in the weekly. While the Bench of Justice A B Chaudhari had said the proceedings were initiated because of the mala fide motive of the author to interfere in the administration of justice, it had strongly objected to the language of the article and pointed out Roy’s “Above the Law” attitude. It said the author was taking undue advantage under the guise of freedom of expression.
“Instead of challenging the orders passed by the Sessions Court and High Court, the author appears to have invented a novel idea of bashing the Central government, the State government, and the police machinery and the judiciary and that was... with a mala fide motive to interfere in the administration of justice,” the court had said. “Calling the government and police as being “afraid” of the applicant, “abductor” and “thief” and the magistrate from a “small town”, demonstrate the surly, rude and boorish attitude of the author,” the court had said in its notice.