Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday clarified that the central government has not registered any case against the eminent personalities who wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the incidents of mob lynching.
Javadekar further clarified that the case against the 49 celebrities was registered on the directions of the court.
In a letter dated July 23, as many as 49 celebrities from different fields including singer Shubha Mudgal, actor Konkona Sen Sharma and filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Anurag Kashyap and M Ratnam, among others, have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over incidents of mob lynching in the country.
"Government has not registered any case. One person approached the court and the court has directed its orders. We haven't done anything n this regard," Javadekar said while speaking to the reporters here.
However, the award-winning filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan on Friday urged the Centre to enact a new law to stop incidents of mob killings stating that any "responsible government" would have taken action on the issue.
"The court of law can take up a case based on that letter written to the Prime Minister. Very responsible citizens have written this letter and people who visualise this nation as a democracy where you have space of plural opinions. Just because the opinions we expressed does not fall in line with the government does not mean that they are against the nation," Gopalakrishnan told reporters.
On July 27, a criminal complaint was filed in a court in Bihar against the actors who wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister over the incidents of mob lynching.
A Bihar-based lawyer Sudhir Ojha filed the case in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Sury Kant Tiwari against nine people including Konkona Sen Sharma and Aparna Sen.
According to the complainant, the case was filed under Sections 124a (sedition), 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration), 290 (public nuisance), 297 (trespass to wound religious feelings), 504 (intentional insults) of the India Penal Code (IPC).
In his complaint, Ojha alleged that the intellectuals' letter is a threat to national integrity and intends to malign India's image abroad.
Ojha said, "I have alleged that 49 intellectuals who have written an open letter to the Prime Minister have tried to malign the country's image abroad. They are trying to break this country into pieces in collusion with separatists."
"I have demanded that legal action should be initiated against them under 156 (3) of CrPc," he added.
Expressing concern over instances of mob violence against Muslims and Dalits, 49 intellectuals wrote an open letter on July 23 to Prime Minister Modi demanding to ensure "exemplary punishment" for the perpetrators of such crimes.
Signatories to the letter include Shubha Mudgal, actor Konkona Sen Sharma, and filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Anurag Kashyap, and M Ratnam, among others.
The letter also highlighted that 'Jai Shri Ram' is becoming a "provocative war-cry".
In response to the letter, the government had said that Dalits and minorities are safe in the country and that those who are "yet to recover" from the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls are trying to communalise "criminal incidents".
( With inputs from ANI )