Supreme Court stays arrest of sociologist Ashis Nandy but unhappy with remarks

Ashis Nandy

The counsel said the scholar has already tendered an apology for his alleged statements. Nandy's counsel commenced the submissions by asking if law could penalise an idea. The bench said: "We are not at all happy".

Nandy, apprehending his arrest for the statements made by him, had moved the apex court yesterday for quashing the FIR against him.

Challenging the proceedings, he had submitted he was facing a serious threat in the surcharged environment against him.

"Because of the surcharged environment against him and the rabid statements made by important political personalities, his physical safety is itself compromised and

there is imminent threat of injury to him," his petition said.

"In fact there was no mala fide intent or purpose on the part of the petitioner to make a comment in order to insult or intimidate with intent to humiliate a member of SC or ST in any place within public view," the petition also said.

"The lodging of the said FIR against the petitioner for the alleged offence committed under SC/ST Act is against the basic principles of the fundamental rights which envisages that free speech is the foundation of a democratic society," it said.

Outside the court, Nandy told reporters, I will have to be careful now. The case is sub-judice. I am grateful to the Supreme Court for the relief and to my legal team for making such an excellent case of defence for me."

"I am also grateful to the media for giving me much support, but for one or two rare exceptions. Also, people of India have stood by me," he said.

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