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Delhi L-G grants prosecution sanction against Arundhati Roy under UAPA in 2010 provocative speech case

The complainant, Sushil Pandit, a Kashmiri activist, filed a complaint under Section 156(3) of the CrPC with the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in New Delhi. The court directed the registration of an FIR on November 27, 2010, when Congress-led UPA government was in power.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena granted permission on Friday to prosecute author Arundhati Roy under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for her alleged ‘provocative’ speech at a 2010 event, PTI reported, citing Raj Niwas officials.

“Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena has sanctioned the prosecution of Arundhati Roy and former Central University of Kashmir International Law Professor Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain under section 45 (1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the case,” a Raj Niwas official said. Last October, Saxena had also sanctioned their prosecution under section 196 of the CrPC for offences punishable under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

“The topics discussed and addressed at the conference promoted the separation of Kashmir from India,” said the Raj Niwas official.

In addition to Roy and Sheikh Showkat Hussain, other speakers included the late Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, SAR Geelani (the anchor of the conference and a prime accused in the Parliament attack case), and Varavara Rao.

The complainant, Sushil Pandit, a Kashmiri activist, filed a complaint under Section 156(3) of the CrPC with the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in New Delhi. The court directed the registration of an FIR on November 27, 2010, when Congress-led UPA government was in power.

It was alleged that Geelani and Arundhati Roy strongly asserted that Kashmir was never part of India, was forcibly occupied by the Indian Armed Forces, and that every effort should be made for the independence of Jammu and Kashmir from India. Recordings of these statements were provided by the complainant.

As a result, an FIR was registered and an investigation was conducted, the officials added. Roy has been a vocal critic of the Modi government, expressing opposition on various issues.

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