Television anchor Amish Devgan today (July 8) got a two-week breather from the Supreme Court to submit his reply to FIRs filed against him on June 17 for his alleged derogatory remarks against revered Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, commonly known as Hazrat Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaz.
The Supreme Court extended its interim order, staying probe and coercive action against Devgan in all FIRs registered for his alleged derogatory remarks.
Senior Counsel Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Devgan, informed the bench that the status report regarding the investigation as directed on the last date has been filed. He further sought more time to serve the remaining de facto complainants.
A two-judge bench, comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna, has directed the respondents to file their reply within a period of two weeks.
On the previous date of hearing the Supreme Court had stayed investigation and coercive action against Devgan on the multiple FIRs against him till the next date of hearing (today).
Luthra submitted today that allegations stipulated that the incident came to light through social media. Moreover, there was an entire transcript of the show where Devgan was discussing a piece of legislation, where Chishti’s name is reflected “in light of Khilji”. “If this starts happening, where people are dealt with for slip of the tongue, what will happen?” Luthra argued.
Luthra further brought to the court’s notice that his client has already issued a public apology.
Devgan had made the comment during a debate on a PIL about the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act on his show ‘Aar Par’ on June 15. As per reports, he had called Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, also known as Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz, an “attacker” and a “lootera”.
In his apology, tendered over Twitter, Devgan had tried to clarify, saying that he was actually referring to Alauddin Khilji, but instead ended up naming Moinuddin Chisti.
The first FIR was registered by the Pydhonie (south Mumbai) police on June 17 for ‘hurting religious sentiments’.
-India Legal Bureau