Charges “absurd”, Supreme Court quashes FIR against Muslim professors accused of promoting  ‘anti-national’ book

The court heard a petition by Professor Inamur Rehman who had been accused of promoting ‘Hinduphobia’ and being anti-national, on the basis of a book found in the college library. 

On Friday, the Supreme Court moved to quash an FIR and criminal charges against Indore Law college teacher and a publisher accused of promoting a “Hinduphobic” and anti-national book. The apex court was hearing the case after Dr Rahman, one of the accused, filed a Special Leave Petition against a judgement by the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s refusal to stay the FIR against him. 

According to Bar and Bench,  Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, along with Justice PS Narasimha, heard the case, squashing the arrest and called upon the Madhya Pradesh government to respond within a four-week period.

The Indore police had filed an FIR against the professor after he was accused of discussing a “controversial” book that was discovered in the college library which allegedly promoted religious fundamentalism in December 2022. ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad), the BJP’s student wing, had also organised protests against the professor, who had alleged taht the “Muslim teachers” at the college were promoting fundamentalism. 

As per Hindustan Times, an ABVP regional chief  Ghanshyam Singh even accused the teachers of speaking negatively about the Indian army and the government. 

Dipendra Singh Thakur, President of ABVP’s college unit, had also given a memorandum at the time to the college stating that the college had ‘too many’ Muslim teachers, and had accused the teachers of “promoting Muslims and Islamic culture inside the campus.

However, as per reports, only four out of the 28 teachers in the college were from the Muslim community. After the incident, the principal, Inamur Rahma,  of the college had ordered an investigation and sent some of the Muslim teachers on leave for a few days. After the incident, several protests took place post which Principal Rehman himself resigned shortly after the incident. 

The book in question was called “’Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System’ by author Farhat Khan from  Law College Indore, who was also subjected to an FIR after the incident, under sections under sections 153 A, 153B, 295A, 500, 504, 505, 505 (2) and 34 of the IPC, in response to the complaint by the ABVP.

There were three people accused in the FIR filed by one Lucky Adiwal of the ABVP, This included the former principal of the law college, Inamur Rehman, Farhat Khan,  another professor  at the college, Mirza Moziz Beg, an assistant professor at the college, and the publisher of the book. 

Justice Gavai who presided over the case heard in the apex court on May 14th, called it a case of “persecution”. In January 2023, the Supreme Court had even called the case ‘absurd’ and said such books could be even found in the Supreme Court library. 

On May 14, the bench at the Supreme Court further stated that the FIR does not even “disclose the ingredients” of the offences committed and is an ‘absurdity.’


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