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SC defers non-bailable warrants against Swamy

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 2 � The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred the execution of the non-bailable warrants issued against BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for six weeks, as it issued notice to the Centre.

Resuming hearing on the matter, the Apex Court today issued notice to the Centre on Swamy�s plea challenging the constitutional validity of Section 153(a) and Section 295(a) of the Indian Penal Code aimed at curbing hate speech and activities prejudicial to the maintenance of peace and harmony.

A Supreme Court Bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice MY Eqbal, issuing notice to the Centre on the contentious provision of IPC, put on hold for six weeks the execution of non-bailable warrants issued against Swamy by a Karimganj court.

The additional chief judicial magistrate of Karimganj had issued NBW against Swamy on a complaint relating to his March comments, when he had said that mosques were just buildings with no religious sentiments attached to them and could be pulled down anytime.

During a programme in Guwahati, Swamy had also said that in Saudi Arabia, mosques, if required, are pulled down and constructed at other places.

Following a complaint, a case was registered against Swamy on charges of conspiracy and promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.

The additional chief judicial magistrate of Karimganj had asked Assam Police and Delhi Police to produce Swamy before it on or before June 30.

Today, as the senior counsel TR Andhyaruijuna told the court that whatever was being attributed to Swamy was said in the course of a university lecture, the court said that it was issuing notice on the challenge to two Sections of the Indian Penal Code and as far as NBW were concerned, Swamy could move the appropriate court to contest them.

The court in its order said that the challenge to Section 153(a) and Section 295(a) of the Indian Penal Code involved larger issues and Swamy was entitled to be heard.

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