Haunted by ABVP, MP government Professor Inam gets relief by Supreme Court

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India Tomorrow

BHOPAL—Former principal of Indore-based Government New Law College Inamur Rahman Indore got relief by the Supreme Court on Tuesday which quashed criminal proceedings against him.

He was arrested in this case after an ‘absurd’ FIR filed by the Madhya Pradesh police in this case in December, 2022 and as a consequence, he had to leave his job.

Professor Inam was haunted by both the right-wing student organisation ABVP and the Madhya Pradesh government. He was booked for what the Supreme Court called an ‘absurdity’; for the two books that were in the college library and part of the syllabus of the college.

The two books mentioned in the allegations are ‘Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System’ and ‘Women and Criminal Law’ authored by Dr. Farhat Khan.

Professor Inam wanted to model the college after any National Law University to train elite judges but his dream got a rude shock. The ABVP protested against him for allegedly having a “Hinduphobic and anti-national book” in the college library. They were allegedly instigated by about half a dozen professors.

A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said that the allegations in the FIR were absurd as the mentioned books were part of the syllabus approved by the academic council. The verdict said that those books could be found even in the Supreme Court library.

According to the sources, though the mentioned books were bought before his appointment, the police booked Principal Rahman for ‘promoting the anti-national book’. At that time, the police was under the then state home minister Narottam Mishra. The police applied sections 153-A, 153-B, 295-A, 500, 504, 505, 505(2) and 34 of the IPC in the FIR.

Apart from Professor Inam, author of the said books Dr. Farhat Khan, publisher Amar Law Publications and assistant professor Mirza Moiz Baig were also booked after a complaint by Lucky Adiwal, a second-semester LLM student. The complaint accused the books of promoting enmity on religious grounds and intended to outrage religious feelings.

Though Professor Inam had managed to secure anticipatory bail, he was humiliated and slandered by ABVP and the “Godi” Media. Veteran journalist Shravan Garg says that the newspapers and their editors were part of the humiliation meted out to Professor Inam, but they just underplayed or suppressed the news of his acquittal and the quashing of FIR against him by the Supreme Court.

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.”

The bench added, “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?”.

After the quashing of the FIR Professor Inam expressed his gratitude to the judiciary for delivering justice.

 Professor Inam 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.”

Proressor Inam 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.

It may be mentioned here that two other Muslim professors of the same Law College were persecuted and four were forced to quit.

After the ABVP alleged ‘promoting religious fundamentalist ideologies by the college administration’, Professor Inam being Principal of the college, initiated a probe led by a retired district court judge and temporarily suspended the accused professors from academic duties until the investigation concluded. He said, “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.”

Professor Inam said that most students and the Hindu community supported him after the incident and blamed the unrest on a small number of troublemakers. He recalled his family’s shock when he was arrested on false allegations.

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

Professor Inam now intends to resume teaching. He is planning to utilise the Supreme Court’s order to pursue opportunities in other colleges. He could not apply to any other college as he was suspended. He wishes to resume his passion to train the judicial officers.

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