The Supreme Court today issued a notice on an application seeking to implead Rajasthan Minister for social welfare Madan Dilawar for allegedly instigating the people against the minority communities, mainly Christians, in the Bhartiya Janata Party-ruled state.
A vacation bench comprising Justice A R Lakshmanan and Justice Altamas Kabir also stayed the criminal proceedings against the petitioners Bishop V S Thomas and Dr Samuel Thomas, who are facing allegations of sedition and spreading communal hatred among the people of the state.
The court also issued notices to the Rajasthan government and other respondents on a transfer petition filed by two petitioners seeking transfer of criminal cases registered against them at Kota in Rajasthan, outside the state on the grounds that free and fair investigation in the case was not possible in the charged atmosphere created by the Sangh Parivar affiliates against the petitioner.
The allegations against the petitioners were that they were involved in the publication and distribution of a book called 'Haqeeqat', containing offensive language against Hindu gods Lord Shiva , Rama, Krishna, Ganesha, and also against Jain saints.
The petitioners, however, contended that the book was neither written nor published by them and they were not aware of its contents. The moment they came to know about the contents they immediately stopped selling it.
The two petitioners pleaded before the court that if the criminal proceedings were not stayed against them than they will have to close down all schools and orphanages being run by the Emmanuel Bible Institute Samiti.
According to the petitioners, they had devoted their lives to the cause of humanity and dedicated themselves to the service of the poor and needy and the ruling party followers have created a hostile atmosphere against them at Kota in Rajasthan.
According to the state, the petitioners are also involved in promoting conversions.