Published: 16th December 2022
Madhya Pradesh: Supreme Court stays arrest of college principal in 'controversial' book case
Members of the ABVP raised objections against the presence of an alleged 'Hinduphobic' book in the library of a law college in MP. An FIR was filed against the principal, and a probe is on
The Supreme Court has stepped in to provide some relief to a college principal in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, against whom a police complaint was filed for housing a "controversial" book in the college library.
Dr Inam-Ur-Rahman, Principal of the Government New Law College in Indore moved the Supreme Court against an order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, dismissing his application seeking interim anticipatory bail in the FIR filed against him.
The SC bench, comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha also issued notices to the Madhya Pradesh government, reported PTI. "Pending further orders, there shall be a stay on the arrest of the petitioner in connection with the FIR," the bench said.
The incident came to light when members of ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) protested over the book's availability in the college library on Thursday, November 30. The students claimed that the book, written by Dr Farhat Khan and titled 'Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System,' contained objectionable remarks against Hindus, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), as well as negative content about the Union Government and the Armed Forces.
The police said that they had charged four people, including Dr Inam-ur-Rahman, under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and other Sections. The charges were made on the basis of a complaint by LLM students of the college and ABVP leader Lucky Adiwal (28).
The principal on the other hand has claimed that while the book has been in the college library since 2014, he only took over as the Principal in 2019. "I have nothing to do with its placement in the library. The FIR against me is unfortunate. I have been booked but not the library head," he said, as per a report by PTI.
After the controversy erupted, the Higher Education Department of the Madhya Pradesh government formed a seven-member committee to probe the matter. According to a report by PTI, a member of the panel said it had recorded the statements of 250 students and teachers.