Delhi Police to file charge sheet next week against Arundhati Roy: Sources

New Delhi, Jun 18 (PTI) Delhi Police is likely to file a charge sheet next week in a case registered against author Arundhati Roy and a former professor in Kashmir under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their alleged provocative speeches in 2010, official sources said on Tuesday.

Roy and former Central University of Kashmir professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain were booked for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches at a conference organised under the banner of ‘Azadi – The Only Way’ at LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg on October 21, 2010.

The FIR was registered at Tilak Marg Police Station on a complaint made by Sushil Pandit, a social activist from Kashmir, following the orders of the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi.

The case was later transferred to the Delhi Police Crime Branch for further investigations.

According to official sources, over a thousand-page charge sheet has been prepared by the Crime Branch in which Roy and Hussain on the basis of several videos and forensic evidence.

The police have cited over half a dozen eyewitness accounts, the sources said.

The forensic reports on the videos, which surfaced on social media, have also been provided as part of the investigations, the sources added.

Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena had on Friday accorded sanction to prosecute them under Section 45 (1) of UAPA.

Last October, the LG granted sanction to prosecute them under Section 196 of CrPC for the commission of offences punishable under different sections of the Indian Penal Code: 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

According to an officer, Section of 124-A (sedition) was also invoked in the FIR but no action could be taken on this as the Supreme Court had stated in 2022 that no FIRs, probes and coercive measures could be taken under sedition law till the government re-examines it.