Kamayani Bali-Mahabal: Aseem trivedi a sgranted bail and A division bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Amjad Sayyed ofBombay High Court described the Mumbai Police action against Trivedi as 'arbitrary' and based on 'frivolous' grounds. More importantly, the HC said that it would frame certain parameters that would have to be followed in future if the police want to apply the charge of sedition against anyone. Hearing a PIL filed by advocate Sanskar Marathe, the division bench questioned, "How can you (police) arrest people on frivolous grounds? You arrest a cartoonist and breach his liberty of freedom of speech and expression."
The court further added, "Today you attacked a cartoonist, tomorrow you will attack a film maker and then a writer. We live in a free society and everyone has freedom of speech and expression." Describing Trivedi's arrest as 'arbitrary' the court wondered whether there were many more like him. "We have one Aseem Trivedi who was courageous enough to raise his voice and stand against this, but what about several others whose voices are shut by police," said the court which has now asked the police to file a comprehensive affidavit by October 12 before the court.
Meanwhile, The Bandra-Kurla-Complex police officers said on september 26th that they sent their proposal to the senior officers to withdraw the sedition charges against the Kanpur-based cartoonist, Aseem Trivedi(25), in the case registered with them. A senior officer said that he is discussing the issue with the legal experts and very soon they will forward the file to the state government.
Charged with sedition and insulting national emblems in his cartoons, Aseem Trivedi — a political cartoonist based in Kanpur — surrendered to poilce in Mumbai on September 8, 2012.
The Mumbai Police’s cyber wing had blocked Trivedi’s website, www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com, last December, sparking a debate on freedom of expression in India. He is a founder member of Save Your Voice, a movement against internet censorship in India.
In January, a case of sedition was filed against him at the Beed district court. In another case before the Bombay HC, Trivedi has been charged with insulting India’s national symbols.
He has been awarded Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award for 2012 by CRNI.The Cartoonists Rights Network International urged the authorities in the world’s largest democracy to stand up for free speech and put an end to all the attempts to silence Aseem’s political speech. Dr. Robert Russell, Executive Director of CRNI, commented, "Aseem’s enemies either don’t know how to interpret symbols in editorial cartoons or are knowingly twisting the law to silence dissent in order to shield corrupt officials.
Many have opposed his arrest, even Press Council of india's Chairperson MarkandeyKatju said the arrest was a "serious criminal offence" and those responsible, politicians and police officers, should be tried and arrested.
The State Home Minister Maharashtra RR Patil said there were no grounds for the police to take cartoonist Aseem Trivedi into custody.
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Release Aseem Trivedi!