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Ex College Principal Gets Relief By SC; Booked For Allegedly Keeping 'Anti-national' book

Former Government New Law College principal Inamur Rahman previously recognised the college's mission to train elite judges by modelling it after the National Law University. The college is located in the Indore district of Madhya Pradesh. The ABVP protested him for allegedly having a “Hinduphobic and anti-national book in the library, after the Madhya Pradesh […]

Former Government New Law College principal Inamur Rahman
Former Government New Law College principal Inamur Rahman

Former Government New Law College principal Inamur Rahman previously recognised the college's mission to train elite judges by modelling it after the National Law University. The college is located in the Indore district of Madhya Pradesh. The ABVP protested him for allegedly having a “Hinduphobic and anti-national book in the library, after the Madhya Pradesh police arrested him in December 2022  in the campus library, which put an end to his dreams. Rahman left his job two years ago as the consequence.

Even though the book was purchased before his appointment, Police booked Principal Rahman for promoting anti-national book. Police, under Home Minister Narottam Mishra, booked him under IPC section 153-A, 153-B, 295-A, 500, 504, 505, 505(2) and 34 of IPC. But he managed to secure anticipatory bail. He was humiliated, slandered with anti-Hindu & anti-national by ABVP and its supported Media. He cried, alleged slander and resigned. Two other Muslim professors were prosecuted and four were forced to quit.

However, Rahman received a significant relief when the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, dismissed the FIR against him. Justice B R Gavai, presiding over a two-judge bench, termed the FIR regarding the book “Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System” by Farhat Khan as an “absurdity.”

The Supreme Court dismisses the complaint filed against Inamur Rahman, the principal of Indore Law College, for allegedly storing “anti-national” and “Hinduphobic” books in the library.

SC bench of Justices B. R. Gavai and Sandeep Mehta pointed out, “Perusal of the FIR would reveal that the FIR is nothing but an absurdity...” “This is a fit case where the court would exercise its jurisdiction under Article 142 and close the proceedings to prevent abuse of law and miscarriage of justice. Allowing the appeal, we, therefore, quash and set aside the FIR...”

The SC bench also reprimanded the MP High Court for refusing to stay the “bogus” FIR. Justice Gavai asked, “Why is the state (of MP) interested in getting an AAG to appear in such a matter? That too on caveat? Clearly, it seems to be a case of  persecution! Somebody is interested in troubling him (the petitioner)! We will issue notice against the IO (Investigating Officer) Why is the state interested in filing a caveat?”.

Expressing his gratitude to the judiciary for delivering justice, Rahman stated, “I spent my life teaching students. I was never involved in any communal thought; I became a victim of it. The Supreme Court saved me from such a dire situation. The time I spent at home was a loss for the student community. I was hoping to develop the college on the lines of NLU. Unfortunately, due to politics, I could not.”

Before the controversy, Rahman had served as the principal of Government Law College in Dewas for seven years and held positions as Chairman and Dean in the department of law at Ujjain's Vikram University and Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya in Indore for over a decade.

Amid protests by ABVP members alleging the promotion of religious fundamentalist ideologies by the college administration, Rahman initiated a probe led by a retired district court judge and temporarily suspended the accused professors from academic duties until the investigation concluded. Rahman clarified, “I had initiated the probe to clear any misunderstanding. These were teachers with a clean record... students were fond of them. They were scholars. All of them have now left Indore.”

The police lodged the FIR against Farhat Khan, the book's publisher Amar Law Publications, Rahman, and assistant professor Mirza Mojiz Baig based on a complaint by Lucky Adiwal, a second-semester LLM student. The complaint accused the book of promoting enmity on religious grounds and intended to outrage religious feelings.

Rahman asserted that the book was procured before his tenure began in 2019, and he was unaware of its content at the time. “Now we know it was Dr. Khan's book. She was my former student and wrote it based on a newspaper report. She is now undergoing dialysis,” Rahman explained.

Rahman thought that the majority of students and the Hindu community supported him after the incident and blamed the unrest on a small number of troublemakers. He spoke about the shock his family felt during the occurrence and underlined how bad these incidents are for the nation's educational institutions.

Mirza Mojiz Baig expressed relief at the Supreme Court's decision, noting the social consequences they faced due to the controversy.

With the case now behind him, Rahman intends to resume teaching. He plans to utilize the Supreme Court's order to pursue opportunities in other colleges and reaffirm his commitment to training judicial officers who will serve the nation.

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"Hinduphobic and anti-national bookB. R. Gavai and Sandeep MehtaInamur RahmanMirza Mojiz Baig