The Bihar Police on Wednesday ordered the closure of a sedition case against 49 celebrities who had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July against the recent incidents of mob lynching.
According to reports, a case will be filed against Muzaffarpur-based advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha, who had filed the complaint last week against celebrities including actor-filmmaker Aparna Sen, author Ramchandra Guha, filmmaker Mani Ratnam and filmmaker Shyam Benegal.
According to NDTV, Police spokesperson Jitendra Kumar said that the case has been termed "maliciously false" with the intention to "garner publicity”.
"The SSP recommended closure of the case and action against the complainant for filing a false case. The investigating officer in the case will file the final report at the local court within a day or two," he said, according to the TV news channel.
News18 also confirmed the development in the case. Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Sinha told the news website that he ordered that the case of sedition be closed against the celebrities as allegations levelled by the complainant “lacked substance”.
The action (to close the case) was taken as Ojha failed to produce supporting documents and he will be charged under Indian Penal Code’s Sections 182 and 211, Sinha told News18.
The FIR was lodged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those related to sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with an intent to provoke breach of peace.
The letter written by the celebrities had said that the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately while stressing there was "no democracy without dissent". It also said that the 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan had become a "provocative war cry".
The case was registered after a chief judicial magistrate passed an order on a petition filed by the advocate alleging that the writers had tarnished the image of the country.
On Monday, over 180 members of the cultural community, including actor Naseeruddin Shah, cinematographer Anand Pradhan, historian Romila Thapar and activist Harsh Mander among others, condemned the FIR lodged against 49 celebrities, in a second open letter to the prime minister.
Ojha is said to have filed around 745 PILs since he started his law practice in 1996. In 2007, Ojha had filed a PIL against the makers of film Dhoom 2 for a controversial scene, while in 2013, he had filed a PIL against Amitabh Bachchan for promoting Maggi, which he said was hazardous to health.
He has also filed PILs against former prime minister Manmohan Singh, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and MNS chief Raj Thackeray.
Updated Date: Oct 09, 2019 21:45:14 IST