Nagpur: The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court on Monday adjourned the contempt case against Arundhati Roy till four weeks as the case is pending with the Supreme Court. The matter is listed before the Apex Court today itself.
It is pertaining to recall that the renowned author was issued a criminal contempt notice by the Bombay High Court for her views on the arrest of Delhi University Professor G N Saibaba and the rejection of his bail plea earlier this year. The Court had said Roy appeared to believe that she was “above the law”.
The High Court made the observation while rejecting Saibaba’s bail plea. The Gadchiroli police had arrested Saibaba last year for alleged links with Maoists. He has been on bail since June, extended later till December 31. Roy had expressed her views on the arrest in an article published this May in ‘Outlook’ magazine. Terming her language in the article as “nasty”, the judge wondered if one could relate it to the awards she has won. “Calling the Government and police as being ‘afraid’ of the applicant, ‘abductor’ and ‘thief’, and the magistrate from a ‘small town’, demonstrate the surly, rude and boorish attitude of the author in a most tolerant country like India,” Justice A B Chaudhari of the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench had observed. The article, which Justice Chaudhari said contained “scurrilous” remarks against the police, the state machinery and the judiciary, has been reproduced in his judgment.
Following issuance of contempt notice and ordered to appear personally, Arundhati Roy had moved the Supreme Court. However, Apex Court refused to exempt her from appearing before High Court to face contempt proceedings. A bench headed by Justice J S Khehar had said that Roy should not be afraid of appearing before court.
“There is no big deal in appearing before court. You should not have fear to appear in court. We appreciate what you are saying and we are here to hear your case,” the bench had said.