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Hussain moves SC for transfer of cases to Delhi

The apex court has accused the noted painter of outraging religious sentiments with his controversial paintings.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 16:08 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Noted painter MF Hussain on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer to Delhi from Indore and Rajkot criminal complaints, which accused him of outraging religious sentiments with his controversial paintings, including that of the 'Bharat Mata'.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi mentioned the petition before a Division Bench of Justice Ruma Pal and Justice Dalveer Bhandari and sought urgent transfer of the cases as the 91-year-old painter had been summoned by one of the courts on April 13.

The transfer was sought in view of hostile environment prevailing in Indore and Rajkot.

The court fixed April 10 for hearing the matter.

The complainants had accused Hussain of outraging religious sentiments, promoting enmity between different religious groups, selling obscene material and disturbing national integrity, thereby committing offences under several sections of the Indian Penal Code.

He has also been accused of committing offences under section two of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act on account of certain paintings of Hindu deities and mythological characters painted in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the more recent painting of the 'Bharat Mata' reportedly depicting her in the nude.

His painting of 'Bharat Mata' had led to protests in various parts of the country by different political groups including the Hindu Jan Jagruti Samiti, VHP, RSS, BJP and the Bajrang Dal, which accused him of hurting Hindu religious sentiments.

However, the petitioner said he had already tendered an apology, but despite that, certain people had announced rewards for chopping his hands off and for "eliminating him".

In July 2000, the apex court had ordered the transfer of similar cases filed against him in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar to the court of an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in New Delhi.

These transfer cases were subsequently quashed by the Delhi High Court.

First Published: Apr 07, 2006 16:08 IST