PATNA, NEW DELHI, KALPETTA: A day after an FIR was lodged in Bihar’s Muzzafarpur against 49 eminent personalities on sedition and other charges for writing an open letter in July to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concern over lynching, the nation was appalled with legal experts slamming the non-application of mind by the trial court judge.
A complaint was filed by a local lawyer in the court of Muzaffarpur’s chief judicial magistrate on July 27. The court then passed an order on August 20 asking the police to lodge an FIR. On Thursday, the cops filed a complaint against nine eminent personalities and 40 unnamed people, including noted filmmakers Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Mani Ratnam, and historian Ramachandra Guha, under sections of the IPC relating to sedition and hurting religious sentiments.
“Magistrates cannot act like a postbox of complaints,” Supreme Court lawyer Anas Tanvir said and added that this would stifle the freedom of speech and expression.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi used this opportunity to again target the prime minister. Addressing a press in Kalpetta in Wayanad, Rahul said, “Those who speak against the prime minister are being sent to jail.”