The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Police that no coercive action should be taken against Delhi Minorities Commission chief Zafarul Islam Khan till June 22, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
Khan has been booked by Delhi Police on the charge of sedition over a statement on social media. Granting this interim protection, a single judge bench of the High Court presided by Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri has also asked the Delhi Police to submit a status report and posted the matter for hearing on 22 June.
Reacting to the relief granted by the court, Khan speaking to IANS over the phone said, “I was sure that this verdict would come because there was nothing in the case and many lawyers have admitted this fact. However, I would say that whatever I said in that tweet, should not have been said.”
Islam had on 28 April posted controversial comments on his Facebook page. “Mind you, bigots, Indian Muslims have opted until now not to complain to the Arab and Muslim world about your hate campaigns and lynchings and riots. The day they are pushed to do that, bigots will face an avalanche,” Khan had written on Facebook.
Delhi Police Special Cell registered the FIR on the complaint of a Vasant Kunj resident. According to the FIR, the copy of which is with IANS, Khan has been booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code — 124 A (sedition) and 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc,).
The Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police on 6 May conducted a raid on Zafarul Islam in connection with the case.
“The team was looking for the mobile handset used by him to post content on social media platforms,” sources in the enforcement agency said.
Speaking to IANS over the phone, Islam’s counsel Vrinda Grover had confirmed the raids and said, “The raids have concluded and the police team has now left. We have asked the enforcement agency to work in accordance with the law.”
In a statement, Grover had said, “You are informed that Dr Zafarul Islam Khan is a senior citizen of 72 years age and he suffers from old age related physical illnesses that make him extremely vulnerable to the Covid-19 coronavirus.”