New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused protection from arrest to journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra who is faced with the prospects of arrest for making alleged derogatory remarks against Odisha’s Konark Temple, Odisha culture and the lawmakers. Declining his pleas for bail, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph told the petitioner journalist: “You’ve incited religious feelings. How are you entitled to bail?”
When the counsel for the journalist told the bench that he was faced with threats and his life was in danger, CJI Gogoi said, “If your life is in danger, then what better place to stay than jail? Your life will be secure.” On September 16, Abhijit had posted a video on twitter in which he was seen criticising the Konark temple. Later, he went on making alleged defematory remarks against Odia culture.
The Odisha assembly Speaker had on September 28 constituted a House Committee to probe the alleged derogatory remarks against the state, its culture and the lawmakers by the journalist. The committee headed by leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra has issued notice to Iyer-Mitra to appear personally before the panel on October 11 for breach of privilege as he also allegedly hurled abuses at Odisha legislators.