After being tipped by the Intelligence Agencies on 2nd June 2008 about my move to contest the illegal and arbitrary ban on People's March on 14th February 2008 before the hon'ble High Court of Kerala, the Addl. District Magistrate has issued a show-cause notice prepared by a computer on 02-06-08 and signed 31st May 2008.
The reply given is pasted below.
From By. Regd.A/D 10-06-2008
Peroor House, N.F.
Ernakulam, Kerala, 682 301
The Hon’ble Addl. District Magistrate
Ref::-- Show cause notice dated 31st May 2008. (T 14 /02-06-08)
1. Notice is issued to me to show cause as to why action should not be taken against me U/s 8(B) of Press and Registration of books Act, 1867 for cancellation of the declaration filed by me in connection with publication of ‘People’s March’. I received the above referred letter on 07-06-2008.
2. No specific reason is shown in the show-cause notice under the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867 and it is outside the purview of the scheme laid down under the Act.
3. I respectfully submit that I was not given a copy of letter referred to in your show cause notice said to be issued by the Asst Commissioner of Police, Trikkakara. So I am retaining my right of objection regarding the contents of the letter No:324/T/2008/TS dated 06-02-2008.
4. It is true that a crime is registered against me by the Trikkakkara Police U/ss124(A), 153 (B) of IPC and 13(1) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 as crime No:780/07. I was taken into custody around noon on 19-12-2007 and formal arrest was made at 00-15 AM on 20-12-2007 and kept in jail till 24-02-2008. It is understood that the investigation in this case is not over.
5. Regarding the allegations of seditious and anti-national character of the literatures and materials in ‘People’s March’, I have strong objection. It is respectfully submit that the above show cause notice being very vague and it does not mention as to which are the articles, literatures and materials against which seditious and anti-national characters and without specifically knowing the reasons for issuing the show cause notice, I can not answer it properly. Without rendering the opportunity, it is only a futile exercise to sabotage my fundamental right of expression.
6. Moreover, by the order dated 14-02-2008, the publication, sale, distribution and circulation of ‘People’s March’ is already prohibited in Ernakulam district. By that, it is clear that you have already taken the view in this issue. That being so, I believe that this show cause notice is a predetermined one to cover up the illegality.
7. I have published the ‘People’s March’ complying with all Rules and Regulations prescribed in the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. It is respectfully submitted that till this date not even an allegation of violation of the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 is raised against me, from any corner.
8. The observations made by the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala in the order dated 01-02-08 in BA 265/08 can not be basis for the cancellation of declaration or for the prohibition of ‘People’s March’ under the Act. It is the settled legal position that the observations made by the courts in bail orders can only be understood as supporting an order in the bail application with only the consequence that flow from it. These observations can not be considered authoritative pronouncement on the relevant aspects at the trial of the case or as concluding any question. The latest decision on the point 2007(7) SCC 344 also reiterates the same legal position. That being so, the observations made by the Hon’ble High Court in the order in BA 265/08 can not be based for an action under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.
9. The statement in your notice that the prohibition order date 14-02-08 bearing No:M6/7364/08 is communicated to me is not correct. No personal notice; nor opportunity of being heard is given to me. Challenging the above said order, I have obtained a copy from the ACP, Thrikkakara, I filed a WP (C) 16812/08 before the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala and it is pending.
Hence I humbly request you to accept this reply and to stop the proceedings taken against me under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.