Sedition charge against celebrities ‘maliciously false’

Muzaffarpur: A case of sedition case filed against 49 people including celebrities for writing an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemning incidents of lynching in the country has been closed after it was found to be “maliciously false”, Bihar Police said on Wednesday.

Action against petitioner recommended

Manoj Kumar, Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police, said that the FIR lodged against the celebrities was found ‘maliciously false’ and recommended action against petitioner Sudhir Ojha.

As per the local court’s direction, the investigating officer in the matter will submit the final report at the local court within two days.

49 eminent personalities

In the letter dated July 23, as many as 49 eminent personalities from different fields including singer Shubha Mudgal, actor Konkona Sen Sharma and filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Anurag Kashyap and Mani Ratnam, among others, said to Prime Minister Modi that “exemplary punishment” should be meted out “swiftly and surely” in such cases.

City-based lawyer Sudhir Ojha had filed the case against the 49 signatories including Konkona Sen Sharma and Aparna Sen.

The case was lodged at Bihar’s Muzaffarpur Sadar police Station following an order passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate on the complaint by Ojha.

The case was filed under Sections 124a (sedition), 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration), 290 (public nuisance), 297 (trespass to wound religious feelings), 504 (intentional insults) of the India Penal Code (IPC).

The letter also highlighted that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ was becoming a “provocative war-cry”.

In response to the letter, the government had said that Dalits and minorities are safe in the country and that those who are “yet to recover” from the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls are trying to communalise “criminal incidents”.

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