In a relief to News 18 India journalist and anchor Amish Devgan, the Supreme court has stayed investigation and coercive action against the journalist till the next hearing on the multiple FIRs filed over his remarks on Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
The vacation bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and Sanjeev Khanna ruled this on a writ petition seeking to quash of the FIRs and implead all the complainants. The matter will be heard after July 8.
Devgan’s counsel Siddharth Luthra claimed that the anchor had made an “inadvertent error” during the show for which he issued an apology later. He submitted that filing an FIR against a journalist for a “slip of the tongue” is unjust and amounts to undue harassment.
Luthra said, “If this starts happening, where people are dealt with for slip of the tongue, what will happen? Errors people make. He has also profusely apologized.”
He said that multiple FIRs have been lodged against the journalist in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Telangana and it would cause grave prejudice to him if he is asked to appear in different places across the country in connection with the FIRs. Luthra said that Devgan’s family members are also being threatened and harassed.
The counsel appearing for the complainants for Maharashtra said that Amish Devgan used the term “lootera Chishti” more than once during the show.
Amish Devgan while hosting a debate on 15 June on PILs regarding the Places of Worship Special Provision Act on his show ‘Aar Paar’ he had allegedly made objectionable remarks against Sufi saint of Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Moinuddin Chishti, who is popularly known as Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaz.
In the news debate, Devgan was seen referring to Chishti as an invader who had tortured and forcefully converted the Hindus of India. However, Devgan later apologized saying that he had mistakenly named Chishti in place of Allauddin Khilji.
Devgan had taken to Twitter to issue an apology. He wrote, “In one of my debates, I inadvertently referred to ‘Khilji’ as Chishti. I sincerely apologize for this grave error and the anguish it may have caused to followers of the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, whom I revere. I have in the past sought blessings at his dargah. I regret this error.”
After this, mulitiple FIRs were registered against Amish Devgan in multiple places. Controversial Islamic organisation Raza Academy, which is known for its involvement in the Azad Maidan riots, has also filed a complaint against Amish Devgan under section 295A, 153A, 34,120B,505(2) and Disaster management act for making insulting remarks against Moinuddin Chisti