The Supreme Court on Monday questioned Madhya Pradesh over its intention to challenge anticipatory bail to the principal of the Government Navin Law College in Indore for keeping an allegedly controversial book at the institute’s library.
A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud questioned why the state was arresting him and observed that it “must do some serious stuff”.
“State must do some more serious stuff. He is a College Principal. Why you are arresting him? A book is found in the library which is said to have some communal undertones. Therefore he is sought to be arrested? The book was purchased in 2014. And he is sought to be arrested? Are you serious?” CJI Chandrachud asked the state’s counsel.
“If you want to challenge the order, you do it. We will deal with it,” the CJI said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the now-resigned principal Inamur Rahman, who sought protection from arrest, in connection with the case. The Madhya Pradesh High Court granted him anticipatory bail on December 22 last year in connection with the controversial book.
The state’s counsel told the top court on Monday that students complained that the petitioner has been teaching from the book, which contradicted his defence that he never knew about the book’s existence.
On December 3, police had filed an FIR against Rahman, and Professor Mirza Mojij Baig as well as the publisher and author of the book ‘Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System’ on a complaint by Lucky Adiwal, an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) functionary and LLM student at the college.
Adiwal had then claimed that the book promoted religious hatred and had objectionable comments against Hindus and the RSS.
On December 16, the SC granted an interim stay on Rahman’s arrest and also issued notices to the Madhya Pradesh government and others on the issue.
Rahman has since resigned as the principal of the college after protests by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, which is the students’ wing of the BJP.