Additional CJM in Lucknow orders registration of FIR against Salman Khurshid on a complaint that his book hurt religious feelings

ALTHOUGH the Delhi high court had last month dismissed a petition to stop the publication, circulation and sale of Indian National Congress leader, former union minister and senior advocate, Salman Khurshid’s book, ‘Sunrise over Ayodhya: Nationhood In Our Times’, that did not seem to deter a magistrate’s court in Lucknow to order the Uttar Pradesh (UP) police to register a first information report (FIR) against him for comparing Hindutva to terror outfits like Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Addl CJM) Shantanu Tyagi directed the UP Police to send a copy of the FIR to Khurshid within three days.

The Addl CJM acted on a complaint lodged by one Shubhangi Tiwari, alleging that Khurshid hurt his religious feelings, and that the police refused to register an FIR against Khurshid on the basis of his application.

The Addl CJM directed the Bakshi Ka Talab police in-charge to get the FIR lodged under the relevant provisions of law and ensure a proper investigation in the matter. “From a perusal of the application and the arguments raised in its support,  I am of the opinion that cognisable offences are made out against Salman Khurshid”, Magistrate Tyagi noted in his order.

Earlier, the complainant moved the court under section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which enables the Magistrate to take cognizance of and order investigation into offences information for which was obtained from any person other than the police officer or upon his own knowledge under Section 190 of CrPC.

On November 25, the Delhi High Court blamed the petitioner for being sensitive, when the latter sought a ban on the book on similar grounds that it hurt the faiths of others. “Ask people not to buy the book or read it. Tell people it is badly authored, read something better”, Justice Yashwant Varma had told the petitioner.

Earlier on November 17, an additional civil judge in Delhi had refused to grant an ex-parte injunction on a lawsuit by the Hindu Sena president to stop the publication, circulation and sale of the book for allegedly hurting the sentiments of a large section of society.