New Delhi, July 3 (newsin.asia): Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize winner and rights activist, who was hauled up before the Bombay High Court for criticizing the case against disabled rights activist Prof.G.N.Saibaba, refused to apologize for her views in the Supreme Court on Monday.
When a bench headed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar asked whether she would like to tender an apology Roy bluntly refused.
“This is not at all a case for an apology,” Senior Advocate C.U. Singh, flanked by Advocate Prashant Bhushan told the court on her behalf.
The Court then stayed criminal contempt proceedings Roy in the Bombay High Court.
She had published an article expressing her personal anguish about the case against paraplegic former Delhi University Professor G.N. Saibaba. In March 2017, Saibaba was sentenced to life imprisonment for harboring Maoist rebels.
Saibaba is ninety per cent disabled, wheelchair bound and suffers from a degenerative medical condition that requires constant medical care.
Roy had argued that the criminal case against her was tantamount to choking the voice of the opposition in a democracy by producing a “intense chilling effect” on the fundamental right of free expression.
She contended there was no “game plan” or “mala fide motive” to interfere in the administration of justice on behalf of Saibaba.
“By criticizing the actions or the lack thereof, of the Legislature, the Judiciary or the Executive, a citizen is merely exercising his or her fundamental right to express ‘opposition’ to the government or one of its wings. Such opposition is fundamental to the very meaning of democracy and should be recognized as a basic feature of the Constitution of India. Opposition is sacrosanct and indispensable to the functioning of Democracy, and more so to that of a democratic welfare State.,” Roy said.