Taslima moves SC, seeks protection from arrest

Exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen moved the Supreme Court Monday seeking protection from arrest in connection with a case against her for a controversial tweet, criticising a meeting between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and religious leader Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan in Uttar Pradesh.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi posted the matter for Tuesday after her counsel sought an urgent hearing in the wake of apprehensions over her arrest.

The FIR was lodged on December 4 in Bareilly under the Information Technology Act after Nasreen questioned the meeting between Kejriwal and Khan. Khan had in 2007 issued a fatwa against Taslima, putting Rs 5 lakh on her head for her pro-women comments.

In her petition, Nasreen has demanded quashing of the FIR against her, besides declaring Section 66A of the IT Act as unconstitutional since it was being grossly abused to launch motivated prosecution, in violation of the people's fundamental rights to equality and expression as well as right to life and liberty. Nasreen clarified that she was not asserting fundamental rights to speech and expression since she was not an Indian national but a Bangladeshi citizen, residing here since 2004 on residence permits.

The apex court is already seized of a bunch of matters over validity of Section 66A.

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