Thursday, January 07, 2010

Restriction imposed on the freedom of speech and expression

Calcutta Telegraph - (PTI): Every religion is “open to criticism” but malicious writing aimed at promoting communal hatred is not permissible, Bombay High Court ruled today. ...
Indian Express Thursday , Jan 07, 2010 - However, if a book reeks of hatred for a particular community, if it contains rabid material and there appears to be no sincere handling of the subject but a malafide exercise to stir communal passions, one must pause and consider whether it is in the interest of general public to allow its circulation. In such a situation, the restriction imposed on the freedom of speech and expression by the Constitution must spring into action, the court observed.
“According to us, the lurid details allegedly of Mohammad Paigambar’s life, the authenticity of which may be challenged by some, could have been avoided by the author,” the judges held. The court observed that it is difficult to hold that the alleged details of Mohammad Paigambar’s personal life are based on any folklore or history. It is not possible for us to conclude that they are in the nature of historical research, they said.
“We feel that the attempt is to show Mohammad Paigambar in poor light to hurt Muslim sentiments,” the judges said. They added that the author’s interpretation may not necessarily be correct and observed that the criticism is not academic.]

Looks like Heehs’ book slapped with an identical verdict. [TNM]

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