New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay a criminal contempt notice issued by the Bombay High Court against author Arundhati Roy for her article in a weekly magazine questioning the continued incarceration of Delhi University professor GN Saibaba.
The apex court also did not give her any relief from personal exemption from appearance before a single judge of the Nagpur Bench of the high court on January 25. While asking her to appear on Monday, the bench issued notice to the respondents on her petition challenging the high court’ order.
When senior advocate Chander Uday Singh, appearing for the writer, sought stay on her personal appearance, contending that the passion has beefed up and effigies are burnt, the court said it was passing the order after carefully considering the matter. “You should have no fear in appearing in court. You go and appear. We are here. We have issued the process and we are looking into it. We have thought about it carefully,” the bench comprising Justice J S Khehar and Justice C Nagappan said.
When the counsel once again sought for personal exemption on Monday, the bench said, “We don’t want to grant you or deny you.”
The Bombay High Court had on December 23, 2015 issued the contempt notice against the author, for her views on the arrest of Saibaba and the rejection of his bail plea early last year. Gadchiroli Police had arrested Saibaba in 2014 for his alleged links with Maoists. He has been on bail since June last year. Roy had expressed her views on the arrest in an article published in a weekly magazine last year.