Supreme Court stays criminal contempt proceedings against Arundhati Roy

In 2015, the Bombay High Court issued a contempt criminal notice against Roy for criticising its decision to reject former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba's bail plea. The criminal contempt proceedings case was being heard by the Nagpur bench.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 3, 2017 5:06 pm
arundhati roy, arundhati roy contempt case, saibaba, supreme court Author Arundhati Roy. (file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the criminal contempt proceedings against author and activist Arundhati Roy. The case was being heard by the Nagpur bench of the high court. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud also granted the leave of appeal to Roy and listed her plea against the issuance of criminal contempt notice by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court for final hearing.

Initially, the court said it wanted to dispose of the case but later considered submissions of senior advocate Chander Uday Singh, appearing for the writer, and observed:”Leave is granted. The proceedings shall remain stayed. Listfor final hearing”.

The apex court had earlier refused to stay the contempt notice issued against Roy by the High Court on December 23, 2015 for her views on the arrest of Saibaba and the rejection of his bail plea early last year. The bench had also declined to exempt her from personal appearance before a single judge of the Nagpur Bench of the high court.

In 2015, the Bombay High Court issued a contempt criminal notice against Roy for criticising its decision to reject former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba’s bail plea.

Justice A B Chaudhari of the HC’s Nagpur bench had observed, “Calling the government and police as being ‘afraid’ of the applicant, ‘abductor’ and ‘thief’, and the magistrate from a ‘small town’, demonstrate the surly, rude and boorish attitude of the author in a most tolerant country like India.”

Saibaba was arrested in 2014 by the Gadchiroli police for his alleged links with Maoists. In an article published by the Outlook, Roy expressed reservations on his arrest too.

“The author has even gone to the extent of scandalising and questioning the credibility of the higher judiciary by giving examples of the orders of bail granted to Babu Bajrangi, Maya Kodnani and Amit Shah,” Justice Chaudhari had said.

with PTI inputs

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  1. A
    Atul Sapre
    Jul 4, 2017 at 6:20 am
    Reading some of the comments that were veiled attack on Christianity, left me wondering why the upper caste Hindus fear conversions?. The fact is that most conversions are of Dalits and Mahadalits- in any case Hinduism holds them in contempt. My hypothesis is that the caste Hindus feel the loss of economic gains they make under the caste system
    Reply
    1. R
      Raj V
      Jul 4, 2017 at 4:23 am
      This lady and her work can be ignored without much ado and effects.
      Reply
      1. O
        Ozair Akhtar
        Jul 4, 2017 at 3:14 am
        What would one perceive form the judgements regarding setting killers free! Everyone knows the fact that there are several MPs and MLAs who have serious criminal records. Public also knows the fact that the current government used to call "caged parrot" to NIA, CBI TEC. If judiacry is fine then why government is trying to change the colligium. The country is fortunate to have such selfless, patriotic individuals who are standing up against injustices. Every country has such people, every community has it.
        Reply
        1. V
          vinay
          Jul 4, 2017 at 2:00 am
          Sad day for all sanghi Cowtards.
          Reply
          1. H
            Himanshu Jasvantray Trivedi
            Jul 4, 2017 at 1:55 am
            READ THIS ARTICLE by Former Justice of Supreme Court Ms Ruma Pal and judge the power of "contempt" if you have an independent mind, not coloured by saffron or any other colour: : archive dianexpress /news/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-judges/874657/
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            1. N
              Nishant Dhruv Sharma
              Jul 4, 2017 at 12:26 am
              70 years from now, when the mass travesty of reason and logic of these times would be read with horror, Arudhati Roy will be established as one of the beacons of rationality. You might not agree with her on every issue, but you cannot deny that Babu Bajrangi and Kodnani have been doted upon by this government. And if you think the government is always saintly, then I have nothing more to say. Anyhow, law should be supreme, anyone who passes of summary trails, whether mediapeople or lawyer-goons, or even "libtards" like Guha and Ms. Roy, should be condemned by sane people all over India.
              Reply
              1. H
                Himanshu Jasvantray Trivedi
                Jul 4, 2017 at 1:49 am
                Thank you for your great comment. I have not agreed with everything of Ms Roy but so far as right to criticise and right of freedom of speech and expression is concerned, it is being upheld by Ms Roy and I salute her for her stand on some very important issues. As regards the last three lines of your comment, when "law" is used as "tools" by vested interests, including Parliamentarians, Lawyers, Judges etc. - then it is not what it is supposed to mean and power of "contempt" of court was never to be used to silence dissent, it was for actions like abusing with vile intentions. I also had questioned Prof. G N Saibaba's arrest etc. on the ground of rationality and legality, but it is now in vogue in India that "b " someone as a "rabid dog" and then put the might of the "state" against such a person.
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                Onkar Singh
                Jul 3, 2017 at 11:10 pm
                Roy's writings are a mirror to the misdeeds of the ruling establishment towards the citizens of this country.Those who criticise Arundhati Roy are psuedo Deshbhakts,looters and the criminal elements in the Indian society.
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                1. H
                  Himanshu Jasvantray Trivedi
                  Jul 4, 2017 at 1:49 am
                  Great comment, agree with you in full.
                  Reply
                2. O
                  Onkar Singh
                  Jul 3, 2017 at 11:06 pm
                  These Deshbhakts keep mum when the carnage of Gujarat took place under Modi,they keep mum when Asseemanand is left off.All these characters have blood on their hands of the innocent people,where does the conscience of these pseudo nationalists goes into hibernation in such cases. Arundhati has made a bold statement that ever since independence in 1947 the Indian army has been used against the citizens of this country.That is history,now.Recorded in newspaper reporting and books on the Politics of India.
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                    Himanshu Jasvantray Trivedi
                    Jul 4, 2017 at 1:51 am
                    s: scroll /article/746832/i-was-sick-of-the-hateful-climate-in-gujarat-judge-explains-why-he-quit-after-the-riots
                    Reply
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