The Hindustan Times
New Delhi, 1 May 1997
28. Govt seeks revision of
order on Naib Imam
HT Correspondent

NEW DELHI, April 30 - The Delhi Government filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking revision of a court order refusing permission to the Government to drop sedition charges against Naib Iman of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari.1

Mr Justice J.K. Mehra issued notice to the respondents, Naib Imam Bukhari and the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate and posted the matter for hearing on May 7.

The Delhi Government counsel sought revision of the order of Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Kumar Sharma on Jan. 14, in which he did not allow the Government to withdraw the case of sedition.

Justice Mehra remarked, “He (Naib Imam) has not appeared before the court even once. He has to show respect to the court and the law of the land.”

The Naib Imam was charged with sedition for his speech at Jama Masjid on January 22, 1993 after the demolition of Babri mosque and a case was registered against him on May 14, 1993.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that the Delhi Government had decided to drop the sedition charges against the Naib Imam and as the State was the master of criminal litigations, the court did not have the jurisdiction to disallow the withdrawal of the plea.

“If the Government lacks the will to implement its decision why should the court be a party to it?  All seditious and subversive activity stems from the root of State weaknesses,” said the judge and added that the court had ample power to dismiss the plea for withdrawal of the case.

The counsel said that the State had decided to withdraw the case as it would not be in public interest to continue prosecution as it “would seriously affect the law and order situation in the Capital”. He added that the decision had been “based on proper assessment of the ground realities with the primary view of maintaining communal harmony between certain communities in the Capital”.

The court had earlier stayed non-bailable warrants issued by the trial court as it had caused considerable tension inside the walled city, said the counsel.2


1 It may be noted that the Delhi Government under reference is the BJP Government headed by Chief Minister Sahib Singh. This Government has not gone to the High Court with regard to hundreds of cases filed by the earlier Administration under the same section(s) of the Indian Penal Code against Hindu individuals and organisations. When some people requested this Government to lift the ban on Ram Swarup’s book, Understanding Islam through Hadis, one of its MLAs remarked, “We shall not do anything which displeases the Muslims.” The ban had been imposed by executive action after two screening committees appointed one after another had cleared the book as unobjectionable, and a Metropolitan Court had dismissed the case for banning it.

2 Obviously, Muslim mobs can bend every law of the land and make any government shake in its skin, by threatening to stage street riots. The BJP should stop mouthing the empty slogan that it stands for “justice to all and appeasement of none”.

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