Mumbai, Oct 12: The Maharashtra government Friday dropped the sedition charges it had earlier filed against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, who was arrested in September this year on charges of insulting national emblems and the Constitution, a lawyer said.
“The Maharashtra government has filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court stating that it is dropping the sedition charges against Trivedi,” defence lawyer Mihir Desai told IANS.
Trivedi, a Kanpur-based cartoonist and an activist of India Against Corruption (IAC), was arrested Sep 8 and charged with sedition for drawing cartoons insulting Indian emblems and the Constitution during Anna Hazare’ anti-corruption movement in Mumbai in December last year.
The state counsel told the court that the sedition charges against Aseem were a “knee-jerk reaction” and that the state would draft a circular on Section 124A that would be submitted to the court for approval.
After the approval, the circular would be sent to all police stations, the counsel said.
The Bombay High Court Sep 14 rapped the Mumbai police for arresting Trivedi on “frivolous” grounds, saying the act breached his freedom of speech and expression.
While hearing a PIL against the cartoonist, the division bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Amjad Sayyed said they intended to lay down certain parameters for application of the law of sedition.
Trivedi is also one of the contestants in the television reality show, Bigg Boss Season 6.
He said he wanted a chance to talk to the people of India. “I want to use the medium to drive the message of anti-corruption to every home,” the cartoonist said in an interview with IANS before the show.