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Judge issues contempt against Arundhati Roy for her article on DU prof Saibaba with alleged maoist links

The Bombay high court has issued a criminal contempt notice against author Arundhati Roy on Wednesday commenting that she believed she was “above the law”, reported the Indian Express and others.

The contempt notice was issued for her views on the arrest of Delhi University professor G N Saibaba and the rejection of his bail plea, which was published in Outlook magazine earlier this year.

The court issued the notice while rejecting Saibaba’s bail plea on Wednesday who was arrested last year for alleged links with Maoists. He has been on bail since June, extended later till 31 December.

Justice A B Chaudhari of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court commented on the language in the article as “nasty” and was quoted as saying that “calling the government and police as being ‘afraid’ of the applicant, ‘abductor’ and ‘thief’, and the magistrate from a ‘small town’, demonstrate the surly, rude and boorish attitude of the author in a most tolerant country like India.”

Roy’s article was also reproduced in the judgment.

Chaudhari also read into the article to have a “game plan” to secure an order in Saibaba’s favour and said that the article was written with “prima facie with a mala fide motive to interfere in the administration of justice.....The author has even gone to the extent of scandalising and questioning the credibility of the higher judiciary by giving examples of the orders of bail granted to Babu Bajrangi, Maya Kodnani and Amit Shah.”

She has to reply to the notice by 25 January 2016.

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