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Govt 'unlikely' to take action against Roy

CNN-IBN
Oct 27, 2010 at 08:32am IST

New Delhi: The Centre reluctant to press charges of sedition against book writer-activist Arundhati Roy for her strong comments on Kashmir, sources said.

The Government does not want to escalate the situation based on comments made by an individual. Also with US Presdient Barack Obama's visit in November, the Government does not want to internationalise the issue.

Constitutional experts and eminent senior lawyers seem to agree with the Government's plan. Senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani told CNN-IBN to ignore her.

"Well this is just not a statement, saying you know lets have self-determination, let the people of Kashmir decide their own future etc. This is a concrete saying that Kashmir is not an integral part of India and that is a secessionist statement. That is a statement that undermines the concept of Indian nationhood so far as Kashmir is concerned," Mahesh Jethmalani told CNN-IBN.

CNN-IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai asked Mahesh Jethamalani on 'India@9': "was Arundhati Roy the first person to make that statement? Syed Ali Shah Geelani makes that everyday in the Kashmir Valley. Why when he makes those statements has he not charged with sedition?"

"Before you prosecute Arundhati Roy and I am again at one with Harish Salve in saying that we should ignore a fringe element like her she does not speak for anybody, not even either the Indian people. We are used to Arundhati Roy's sometimes very passionate outpourings," Jethmalani replied.

Though the Centre may be hesitating, but a Ranchi resident has gone ahead and filed a case of sedition against Arundhati Roy for her comment.

The complaint was lodged by Ashish Kumar Singh in the Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court on Monday. Singh wants action to be taken against Arundhati Roy under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code that deals with sedition.

Arundhati had shared the dais with hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and pro-Maoist leader Vara Vara Rao among others at the Delhi seminar.

Arundhati had said "Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this".

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