The Muzaffarpur police Wednesday ordered closure of a sedition case lodged against 49 personalities on charges of sedition and assumptions prejudicial to national integration.
Muzaffarpur SSP Manoj Kumar Sinha said the order has been issued by him for the closure of the case, pointing out that allegations were levelled against the accused, as per the investigation, out of “mischief” and “lacked substance”, news agency PTI reported.
Those named in the FIR — historian Ramchandra Guha, film personalities Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopal Krishnan, Shubha Mudgal, Saumitra Sen, Mani Ratnam, Revathi, Aparna Sen and Konkona Sen – had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concern over the growing incidents of mob lynching.
Last week, the Muzaffarpur police had lodged an FIR against the celebrities on the order of Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari on a petition filed by local advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha on July 27. Ojha had accused the celebrities of trying to “bring the country a bad name by going to media about their complaint to PM on cases of rising intolerance”.
The court had asked the police to file an FIR against the nine on August 20. The FIR (673/19) was filed under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153B (assertions or assumptions prejudicial to national integration, 160,190, 290, 297 and 504.
Commenting on the matter, ADGP Jitendra Kumar told the Indian Express, “The complainant couldn’t produce supporting documents or evidence, not even the alleged letter written by the 49 persons, which may support his claim of commission of any offence. On this and other circumstantial basis, the case is found to be false and the order has been issued by him to investigating officer to submit the final report.”
Kumar also said the advocate will be charged for filing a false case. “Finding this to be an intentional purpose of the complainant, prosecution under sections 182 and 211 will be submitted against the complainant for lodging a false case,” he added.