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Three years on, Zakir Naik’s petition still pending in SC

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New Delhi : Three years on, a petition filed by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is still pending before the Supreme Court as only one of the five states, Odisha, has replied to the apex court’s notices issued to them on May 5, 2013.

The court issued notices to the five states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka and Odisha- to reply within eight weeks, after Naik approached the court seeking consolidation of all FIRs and complainants against him so that a single investigation could take place.

As many as seven FIRs and 28 complainants have been lodged against Naik across the country.

FIRs have been registered against Naik in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka and Odisha in 2012 for his objectionable Facebook post under sections 117 (abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons), 153 A(promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), 298 (uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) of the India n Penal Code (IPC) and several sections of the IT Act.

In his Facebook post, Naik had raised doubts against the divinity of Lord Ganesh worship by Hindus.

When Naik approached the SC, the court on May 5, 2013 issued notices to all five states and sought their response within eight weeks.

Besides, the court also stayed all criminal proceeding against Naik and directed that he should not be arrested in connection with the proceeding. (ANI)

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