Patna HC stays arrest warrant against Taslima

A single judge bench of the Patna high court has stayed the non-bailable warrant (NBW) of arrest issued against Bangladesh-born Swedish citizen and Bengali author Taslima Nasreen by a Bettiah (north Bihar) court.

Justice KK Mandal on Monday passed an interim order also staying the criminal case pending against the noted writer, filed by Bettiah lawyer Md Murad Ali. The court also issued notice to the complainant to present his stand on his complaint case.

The chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Bettiah, West Champaran, had, on January 9, issued an NBW of arrest on a complaint of Ali, who said the author’s tweet on Muslim women had hurt his religious sentiments. The lawyer had filed the complaint on October 24, 2011 after Nasreen's tweet.

The CJM took cognizance of the complaint on May 24, 2012. The same year, on May 31, the lawyer filed an application allegedly giving a fictitious e-mail ID of Nasreen and requested the court that summon be issued to her on the e-mail he had provided.

On September 26, 2012, the CJM recorded that notices had been duly delivered by e-mail. Two days later, a bailable warrant was issued and a copy of it was sent to the foreigners division of the ministry of home affairs, New Delhi.

Lawyer for Nasreen, Amit Shrivastava said that without awaiting report of service of bailable warrant on Nasreen, the CJM issued an NBW of arrest on January 9, 2013.

Shrivastava filed the petition in the high court for quashing of the complaint on February 22. In the petition, he argued that the complainant had no right to question her tweet because he was not on her Twitter account.

He also argued that there was no provision in the CrPC for issuance of summons by e-mail, especially on a fictitious e-mail ID.


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