The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim protection against arrest to a professor teaching “Constitution” at New Government Law College, Indore.

The professor who was booked by Indore Police for allegedly harming the public peace, the integrity of the nation, and religious cordiality on the ground that he along with other co-accused incited the students of the college to read the controversial book available in the library with intent to spread hatred in the mind of the students of Hindu religion.

A Bench comprising Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli issued Notice and directed, “In the meantime, there shall be interim protection against arrest of the petitioner subject to the petitioner diligently participating in the investigation and complying with the requirements of Section 438(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

A written complaint was filed with the Police by the complainant, an LLM student of the College contending that one book titled “Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System” written by Dr. Farhat Khan contains false and baseless facts. Allegedly, the said book is available in the library of New Government Law College and the petitioner along with the co-accused are trying to spread hatred in the mind of the students of the Hindu religion.

Advocate-on-Record Aljo K. Joseph submitted before the Apex Court that the petitioner has only been teaching the subject “Constitution’ to the law students as per the duty assigned to him by the Principal of the College.

Further, it was contended that the petitioner was neither looking after the library section, nor was a member of the purchase committee, during which the said book “Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System” was purchased, nor he tutored the said subject.

Earlier, with regard to the same FIR, the Principal of the New Government Law College approached the Supreme Court when the High Court refused him to grant interim anticipatory bail. The Apex Court granted him interim protection against arrest. Later, the High Court granted anticipatory bail to the Principal of the College.

The petitioner also applied for anticipatory bail before the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Indore apprehending his arrest in connection with FIR registered against him for for commission of offence punishable under sections 153-A, 153-B, 295-A, 500, 504, 505, 505(2), 34 of IPC.

The High Court did not allow him relief and dismissed his application holding “(perusal of the statements) under Section 164 of Cr.P.C. it appears that present applicant is the Professor making statement which promotes enmity, hatred and ill-will between different sections of society, which hurts sentiment of Hindu community; act of the present applicant can disturb the communal peace of the society”.


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