Sedition Case against Celebrities
Around 50 celebrities had written earlier in the year to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concerns over growing incidents of mob lynching. The open letter to the Prime Minister caused an uproar and there was backlash from several quarters; many from the celebrities' domain itself.
A petition was filed by an advocate in Bihar, Sudhir Kumar Jha and the order passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari two month ago. An FIR (First Information Report) has now been filed at the Sadar police station in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
The FIR contains the names of eminent celebrities including Ramachandra Guha, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, Shubha Mudgal, Anurag Kashyap, and Soumitra Chatterjee to name a few. Accordign to Ojha, these celebrities were named in his FIR as they had tarnished the image of the country and undermined the performance of the Prime Minister. The FIR also mentioned that the letter strongly 'supported secessionist tendencies'.
The FIR was lodged under sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) relating to public nuisance, sedition, hurting religious feelings and an intent to provoke breach of peace.
The celebrities had urged PM Modi to take necessary action against lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities. The letter had also made observations like 'there was no democracy without dissent', and that 'Jai Shri Ram' had been reduced to a 'provocative war cry'.