High Court adjourns contempt plea against Arundhati Roy for 4 weeks

Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has adjourned the hearing on criminal contempt petition against noted author Arundhati Roy for four weeks as her plea challenging the proceedings is still pending before the Supreme Court.

A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Pradeep Deshmukh after hearing Roy's counsel yesterday made it clear that the judicial propriety demands that they must wait for the outcome of the special leave petition (SLP) filed by the author, which is currently pending before the apex court.

The contempt notice was issued against Roy by HC Justice Arun Chaudhari in last December for her views published in a weekly magazine on the arrest of alleged naxal sympathiser and Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and subsequent rejection of his bail plea early last year.

The high court had observed that Roy's article was "prima facie with a malafide intention to interfere in the administration of justice".

Earlier, the apex court had refused to stay the criminal contempt notice issued by the HC against Roy for the article.

Gadchiroli Police had arrested Saibaba in 2014 for his alleged links with Maoists. He was granted bail in June last year, which was cancelled later. Saibaba is currently lodged in Nagpur jail. He had challenged cancellation of his bail in SC.

Roy sought exemption for personal appearance in her case.However, the apex court had refused to grant it and asked her to appear before High Court which exempted her from personal appearance during last hearing.

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