The Bombay High Court Wednesday extended by a week the interim protection from arrest to journalist Shirin Dalvi, who is under fire after Urdu daily Avadhnama’s Mumbai edition, which she edited, published a Charlie Hebdo cartoon in its January 17 issue.
The Court had, on February 9, said that the police should not take any “coercive action” against Dalvi till February 11.
After the public prosecutor in the case did not turn up on Wednesday, a division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudesai said the protection granted earlier to Dalvi would continue till February 17 when the matter would be heard again .
The public prosecutor was scheduled to present the government’s stand on the relief sought by 46-year-old Dalvi to quash all FIRs registered against her in connection with reproducing of the cartoon of the Prophet, considered blasphemous in Islam, or club the cases together.
The state government had earlier told the court that despite being aware of the row the cartoons had sparked in France, Dalvi went ahead with publishing one of them.
Sandip Shinde, public prosecutor, had said that it was in the knowledge of the editor what had happened in France. The journalist, who could face action under Section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code, has around five FIRs registered against her in the state, the court was informed.