In a relief to sociologist Ashis Nandy, the Supreme Court today directed the police forces of four states not to arrest him in connection with comments he made at the Jaipur Literature Festival, but also told the author to refrain from making such statements in the future no matter what his intention was.
After five FIRs were filed against Nandy in connection with the statements he made at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Nandy had approached the Supreme Court yesterday seeking to quash the cases and to restrain the police from arresting him.
Hearing his petition today, the Supreme Court today accepted both his pleas and has directed the police not to arrest him, CNN-IBN reported.
It has also directed the state governments of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar and Chhattisgarh to respond to the author's petition in four weeks and reply on whether the FIRs filed against the sociologist should be quashed.
The court also advised the sociologist's lawyer to tell Nandy not to make statements of the kind he made in the Jaipur literature Festival irrespective of what his intention was.
The court, however, has not restricted the police from the different states from carrying out investigations in the case and they are still free to question the author in the case.
Speaking outside the court, Nandy said,"It is a relief for me.. I am glad the SC has granted a stay on the police proceedings."
He thanked the Supreme Court, his legal team, people and the media for their support.
"I will have to make my statements now outside India or within four walls," he said jocularly when asked about the Supreme Court asking him to restrain himself from making similar statements in the future.
In his comments at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Nandy had said that most of those caught in corruption cases in India were from scheduled castes and tribes. He later pointed out that he had made the comments in the context that corruption was punished only when it was committed by persons from lower castes.
However, Dalit activists had filed cases against him in four states and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati had demanded police action against him.