SC to hear MF Husain's plea on Monday
Criminal complaints accusing of outraging religious sentiments had been filed in courts in these two cities against Husain's painting.india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 18:59 IST
The Supreme Court will on Monday hear a petition filed by eminent painter MF Husain seeking the transfer to Delhi of cases filed against him in Indore and Rajkot regarding his controversial painting 'Bharat Mata'.
Criminal complaints accusing of outraging religious sentiments had been filed in courts in these two cities against his painting that depicts 'Bharat Mata', or 'Mother India', as a nude woman.
Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the petition before a bench of judges Ruma Pal and Dalveer Bhandari on Friday 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 the hostile environment prevailing at Indore and Rajkot.
The bench posted the case for hearing on Monday.
The complainants had accused Husain 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.
Husain has also been accused of committing offences under provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act on account of certain paintings of Hindu deities and mythological characters he did in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the more recent `Bharat Mata'.
Husain's petition noted that he had tendered an apology, but despite that, a body had announced a reward of Rs 510 million for anyone who beheaded him.
A local leader in Gujarat had also promised to give a kilogram of gold to anyone who would gouge out Husain's eyes, the petition said.
In light of these threats, the painter asked that the cases be transferred to a court in Delhi.